It’s nearly Christmas, which means it’s the season of gifts. However, gadget geeks have had to wait quite a few years for the tech Santa to deliver one of the most prized gifts: reversible USB plugs! Apple has had it for years thanks to the Thunderbolt interface and the Lightning ports on iOS devices.
Work is ongoing for the next-generation USB standard, which reportedly breaks compatibility with existing USB connectors, but improves ease of use immeasurably and also allows for thinner ports. The new connector, called Type-C, is an addition to the existing USB 3.1 spec and will be finalised by mid-2014.
USB 3.1 coming soon! (Image: Getty Images)
In a press release, USB 3.0 Promoter Group chairman Brad Saunders said Type-C will lead to newer design trends in terms of size and usability, while also keeping in mind aspects like scalability in charging and data transfer. Intel says it will enable a new range of super-thin devices from phones to tablets, to 2-in-1s, to laptops to desktops. Let's hope Intel doesn't attach a trademarked moniker like Ultrabook to these new devices. “This new industry standards-based thin connector delivering data, power, and video is the only connector one will need across all devices,” an Intel representative said.
While there are no images yet of the new type of connector, reports say it’s around the size of a micro USB plug, which would make it very svelte indeed. Since it breaks compatibility, the promoter group is expected to release specifications for legacy adapters and cables so as to not make existing cables and chargers obsolete.