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Re: Using the GamePad API with AT devices?

From: Patrick H. Lauke <redux@splintered.co.uk>
Date: Tue, 23 Feb 2016 19:59:18 +0000
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <56CCBA15.4060804@splintered.co.uk>
On 23/02/2016 19:38, LĂ©onie Watson wrote:
> Hello WAI IG,
> The GamePad API enables game controllers to be used as input devices on the
> web. It emulates the system API access that native applications have to such
> devices.
> In a moment of idle speculation, I wondered whether this API could be used
> by hardware Ats (like sip/puff devices), and whether there was a use case
> for doing so?
> I know nothing about the mechanics of such devices though, so thought I'd
> post it here in hope that someone might have some ideas!

It is my understanding that the GamePad API relies on the 
gamepads/joysticks to be exposed at OS level as, well, 
gamepads/joysticks. Browsers then sit on top of the standardised 
OS-level API that exposes the available game controllers. (For instance, 
on Windows this is generally part of what's provided by 

Therefore, it would seem that in the first instance, hardware AT would 
need to provide some form of OS-specific driver that then identifies it 
as a controller - or there's a need for some middleware piece of 
software that effectively proxies whatever proprietary driver the 
hardware AT uses to appear like a game controller.

I'll hazard a guess that hardware AT uses wildly disparate 
drivers/approaches, rather than a fairly standardised interface. So it's 
unlikely that browser manufacturers will want to add lots of 
proprietary/specific code to query all sorts of hardware.

Patrick H. Lauke

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Received on Tuesday, 23 February 2016 19:59:41 UTC

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