Online / 6 & 7 February 2021


JavaScript connecting exotic hardware

A personal retrospective of 10 proofs of concept using the most pervasive language

JavaScript runs everywhere. Or so it should! In this 30min talk we're going to skim over 10 small proof of concepts that relied on JavaScript to do something new. We'll conclude with an overview of useful technical and social patterns helpful to run "nearly" JS nearly everywhere.

A computer is an amazing piece of technology because it is generic. It is a general purpose device par excellence. Without going as abstract as Turing machines we wish we could run any code everywhere. Several things get in the way though : performances, design choices, business strategy, available implementation, etc. Yet, when you consider buying a new device or repurposing an old one patterns seem to be coming back over and over again, namely : is a browser present? Can I run a web server on it? Which protocols are available? Is there any usable file format to send or receive data? By efficiently identifying those new opportunities emerge. One can then connect one device to another even if they are not your usual computer. This talk is going to explore such patterns through 10 small examples built over last year. From a vibrating sex toy available on a social VR platform to a Linux phone controlling a TV like a remote or a virtual light bulb controlled by strangers and matching its physical equivalent, exotic hardware is going to leverage JavaScript, one way or another.

This presentation targets a curious audience. Basic knowledge of JavaScript, Internet of Things, virtual reality, augmented reality, embedded devices are welcomed but not necessary. The slides provide links to code snippets and all used libraries.


Photo of Fabien Benetou (@Utopiah) Fabien Benetou (@Utopiah)