Phidgets are a system of low-cost electronic components and sensors that are controlled by a personal computer. Using the Universal Serial Bus (USB) as the basis for all phidgets, the complexity is managed behind an Application Programming Interface (API). A phidget is a physical representation or implementation of a GUI widget.

Phidgets are an easy to use set of building blocks for low cost sensing and control from your PC. Using the Universal Serial Bus (USB) as the basis for all Phidgets, the complexity is managed behind an easy to use and robust Application Programming Interface (API). Applications can be developed quickly in Visual Basic, VBA (Microsoft Access and Excel), LabView, Java, Delphi, C and C++.

Phidgets provide users with the underpinnings of an affordable and highly flexible system which can be harnessed via a PC to sense and manage a number of environmental elements, ultimately leading to the creation of smarter, more interactive robotic devices. A phidget (physical widget) is attached to a host computer via USB. There are various phidgets available, each having a counterpart class in the phidget API. As each phidget is attached to the host computer, it is made available to control in the API, where its state can be accessed and set.

The phidget API is what allows systems to access the phidget devices in a high level manner. The API allows the management of devices as they are attached, to subscribe to events and to access the state of the phidgets. The core API is originally written in C and has been extended to work in numerous languages including: Adobe Director, AutoIt, C#, C/C++, Cocoa, Delphi, Flash AS3, Flex AS3, Java, LabVIEW, MATLAB, Max/MSP, Microsoft Robotics Studio 1.5, Python Module (version:, REALBasic, Visual Basic .NET, Visual Basic 6.0, Visual Basic for Applications, Visual Basic Script, Visual C/C++/Borland and FlowStone.