HID-IO proposal for Unicode over USB (long term)

I have just stumbled upon this year-old proposal on https://deskthority.net/workshop-f7/hid-io-sideband-input-device-protocol-spec-t12927.html, which I think is extremely relevant for keyboardio.

In short, it’s about a side-channel extension to the current HID protocol for keyboards, that would allow sending arbitrary unicode characters to the host, as well as other goodies such as on-screen display of the actual layout on your keyboard.

I know of two small companies interested in this proposal (Input Club and Kiibohd). What I know was surmised from this issue on Kiibohd github: https://github.com/kiibohd/KiiConf/issues/30.

Now, the road ahead is long and winding, but I hope that by joining efforts, it may be possible to push this proposal to the appropriate USB committee.

I hope this has sparked some interest!

Best regards,


Yup. HaaTa and I have talked about this in the past. It’s something I’m definitely keeping an eye on.

HaaTa, who proposed the system brands his personal projects as Kiibohd and is the firmware architect for Input Club. As far as I know this is just his pet project at the moment, though I’m hoping it grows into something more.

I’ve been talking with HaaTa too, and found his approach towards implementing Unicode input with the help of an application on the host interesting. In theory, it should be much more reliable than the current hacks we use in the Unicode plugin.

As time allows, I’ll try to help him out with Linux-y bits, and once there is decent support on the host side, the Kaleidoscope-Unicode plugin will be taught to use the application, if present (and fall back to the current methods if not).