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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 
DirectInput/DirectX).

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.

P
-- 
Patrick H. Lauke

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

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