It’s your first day back on shift, and as you stumble through the front door, so tired that you can barely see straight, you make it my personal mission to crash in bed for the night. Ding. Uh-oh, the battery on your phone is low, you had better plug it in before the Sandman dusts your eyes with sleeping powder. And then the dance of the shape-shifting charging cable… begins.
We’ve all been there. We all know that there are only two possible outcomes for the plug in this situation, but it takes you way more than two tries to align the plug correctly. The USB Implementer’s Forum is aiming to make a better USB cable and, perhaps inadvertently, alleviate the frustrations and woes of consumers with phones that charge via microUSB.
USB 3.1 is coming to the consumer market soon and will bring several much-needed improvements to the USB cable. Included are radically faster charging speeds thanks to a 3-5 amp current, data transfer speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second (up from USB 3.0’s 5 gigabits per second), and the coup de grâce to microUSB – a reversible tip.
USB 3.1 Type-C will feature a reversible tip on either end that will have no predetermined top or bottom. It looks very similar to the microUSB cables we use on a daily basis to charge our phones and connect our devices, but with a welcome, reversible twist. Apple pioneered some of this technology with their Thunderbolt and Lightning cables in the last couple of years. The new USB 3.1 Micro-B connector has already been seen on some newer devices, namely the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.
Vendors will start beginning work on incorporating USB 3.1 into their devices and products, but it will take a little while for this new version of USB to become the standard it is destined to be. There will also be an adapter manufactured for backwards compatibility with USB 3.0 products.
Here’s to no more forced and broken USB cables!
Image Sources: Foxconn