/Web APIs

InputDeviceCapabilities API

Experimental: This is an experimental technology
Check the Browser compatibility table carefully before using this in production.

The InputDeviceCapabilities API provides details about the underlying sources of input events. The API attempts to describe how the device behaves rather than what it is. For example, the first version of the API indicates whether a device fires touch events rather than whether it is a touch screen.

Input device capabilities concepts and usage

Because DOM events abstract device input, they provide no way to learn what device or type of device fired an event. This can lead to instances where the same action triggers multiple event handlers. To deal with this, developers make assumptions and use heuristics to normalize behavior on web pages.

The InputDeviceCapabilities API addresses this problem by abstracting the capabilities of input devices. For example, let's say we have a web page that implements both a touchstart and a mousedown event. We can assume that if the touchstart event is triggered that the user's device has a touch interface. What about when the mousedown event is triggered? It would be useful to know if a touchstart event were also triggered so that we don't take the same action twice. We can do this by checking the sourceCapabilities property of the UIEvent.

myButton.addEventListener("mousedown", (e) => {
  // Touch event case handled above, don't change the style again on tap.
  if (!e.sourceCapabilities.firesTouchEvents) myButton.classList.add("pressed");


InputDeviceCapabilities Experimental

Provides logical information about an input device.


Browser compatibility

Desktop Mobile
Chrome Edge Firefox Internet Explorer Opera Safari WebView Android Chrome Android Firefox for Android Opera Android Safari on IOS Samsung Internet
InputDeviceCapabilities 47 79 No No 34 No 47 47 No 34 No 5.0
InputDeviceCapabilities_API 47 79 No No 34 No 47 47 No 34 No 5.0
firesTouchEvents 47 79 No No 34 No 47 47 No 34 No 5.0

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