I am a firmware developer and electrical engineer currently running a niche PC peripherals company. After seeing the Framework Laptop, I am looking into developing a replacement/alternative to 2.4GHz dongles. I don’t like having a dongle sticking out of a USB A port. USB C dongles stick out even further. Avoiding the dongle by using Bluetooth results in noticeable input latency.
Anyone else here agree?
Unfortunately, a USB port was too thick to contain fully within the Expansion Card, so I checked the spacing for ultra-flat female USB A connectors that insert into a male USB A opening. Still doesn’t fit due to the dongle enclosure being wider than the USB port.
- Crack open the dongle enclosures and affix the dongle PCB inside the Expansion Card. I’ll use spring contacts on the Expansion Card to connect the dongle’s USB pads and a retaining clip to hold the dongle PCB in place.
- License IP from specific peripheral manufacturers so I can develop individual Expansion Cards for each dongle. Essentially I redo layout for an existing dongle and use the official dongle firmware for an Expansion Card version of the dongle.
- Don’t license any IP and make a PCB that happens to be compatible with the official firmware of an unnamed manufacturer. I would have my own firmware and peripheral available for sale, but the end user could potentially download and write the relevant official firmware to the Expansion Card on their own if they wanted to use a different device.
#1 has the best compatibility but bad for the end user who has to buy an extra dongle and crack it open.
#2 depends on manufacturers willing to let me work with their IP. Working with me would defray R&D costs for the manufacturer and bring sales of their peripherals from Framework Laptop users. I’ve been trying to contact general counsel for some mice manufacturers, but I likely won’t get any good responses.
#3 gray legal area and I’ll need to discuss with my lawyer first. I would only offer support for my own peripheral in this case. End users wanting to use alternative firmware would need to do the proper research regarding ToS etc. and make their own determinations.
Who here wants a mouse dongle replacement? If so, are you willing to crack open a dongle? What brand mouse or peripheral do you prefer to use?
Have any industry contacts with Logitech, SteelSeries, Corsair, etc.? Please let me know!