Reversible connectors for all; next-gen USB to get all Lightning-like


There’s a lot to dislike about Apple’s unilateral move to introduce a new non-standard connector with last year’s debut of the Lightning cable: it creates a new expense for users, generates unneeded waste, and uses technological measures to enforce Apple’s licensing policies. But for all the crap we have to put up with, it does have one small benefit: its reversible dual-sided construction makes connecting it a breeze. Luckily for those of us who prefer to use actual standards, there’s a new flavor of USB connector in the works that will be able to pull the same trick.

The so-called Type-C connector is going to be roughly the size of the micro USB you’re used to on your phone already, but with a number of enhancements. Those include support for things like scalable charging, as well as the Lighting-like ability to be inserted any which way you choose.

That flexibility will extend to cable orientation as well – the idea is that Type-C connectors will become prevalent on computers, so the cables we use will be the same on both ends – no more “small USB” phone end and “large USB” PC end, but the same on each side.

Look for the Type-C standard to be finalized by the middle of next year, and start showing up in devices a little further down the road.

Source: USB IF (PDF)
Via: (Google Translate)

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!