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A group of hackers have garnered a lot of support on “crowd-funding” site Kickstarter for their proposal to develop an open-source hardware-based USB analyzer, which could shorten the time to market of third-party drivers. A joint effort of hackers “bushing” and “pytey” of Team Twiizers and iPhone DevTeam fame, the proposed “OpenVizsla” open source, high-speed USB sniffer had received $28,802 from 251 backers at the time of writing. The team is already well past its original funding goal of $17,500, with 25 days still to go before the project is closed for funding.
“Hardware based protocol analyzers are expensive and are usually out of the reach of most independent developers, hobbyists and hackers. The most popular products cost $1400+ and, with few exceptions, use proprietary Windows-only client software, proprietary protocols, and proprietary data formats that are hard to export for use with other software,” reads OpenVizsla’s funding pitch.
“OpenVizsla will be a completely open design of a device that can capture USB 1.1/2.0 (high-speed, full-speed and low-speed) traffic passively between a target USB device and the connected host (usually a PC, but potentially anything that has a USB host port -- think Xbox 360 and PS3). It will be controlled by any computer using open-source client software or potentially in standalone mode (where captured traffic is stored onto an on-board SD card).”
According to the team behind the project, they have been working on the device for past two years and plan to use the funds to order components for initial prototypes.