SOON YOU will be able to connect USB devices directly to the interweb, thanks to a new draft API designed by two Google engineers.
WebUSB (clue in the name) was designed by Reilly Grant and Ken Rockot as a universal platform that will allow all USB devices to be exposed directly to the web.
In other words, every device plugged in via USB could have an IP address. The obvious solution is, of course, data transfer to memory sticks, but this is one area not included in the draft as it will require a lot more work to be secure enough.
The pair explained: "Today when you connect a device to your computer you hope that somehow it will find the right driver and it will Just Work.
"For lots of devices it does because there are standardised drivers for things like keyboards, mice, hard drives and webcams built into the operating system. What about the long tail of unusual devices or the next generation of gadgets that haven't been standardised yet?
"WebUSB takes 'plug and play' to the next level by connecting devices to the software that drives them across any platform by harnessing the power of web technologies."
What's particularly amazing about this is that it's fully backwards compatible, meaning that all your existing USB devices will instantly be part of the internet.
It is worth pointing out, however, that this doesn't represent a free-for-all for ne'er-do-wells as users will have to supply a list of origin points and authorise websites that are allowed to use them.
What it does mean in real terms is that you'll soon be able to buy a new gadget and know for certain that it'll work out of the box. In theory, though, if your device has an IP address, there's no limit to what you might be able to do with it further down the line.
The unofficial beta is available to play with on GitHub.
USB C launched last year but there have been significant problems relating to the way it has been implemented by some companies. µ
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