Gadgets

Finally, a reversible USB plug is in the works

Above: Apple's Lightning connector (left) compared to the large USB cable (right)

Image Credit: Unten44/Flickr

Just like Apple’s new Lightning connector, the next USB plug will be tiny and totally reversible.

The USB 3.0 Promoter Group, a consortium of technology companies working on the latest USB spec, announced today that it has begun development of a new USB Type-C connector. We don’t know what it will look like just yet, but the group says it will be around the size of a Micro USB 2.0 connector, will be fully reversible (so you don’t have to worry about its orientation when plugging it in), and will allow for scalable power charging.

With all those upgrades, the new USB port won’t be compatible with existing cables. We can expect to see plenty of adapters to help old USB devices connect to the new ports. The group says the Type-C connector’s design will be finalized in the middle of 2014, which means it won’t hit new devices until 2015 or so.

“Intel is excited to see the development of the new thin Type-C connector as it will enable an entirely new super thin class of devices from phones to tablets, to 2-in-1s, to laptops to desktops and a multitude of other more specific usage devices,” said Alex Peleg, vice president of Intel’s Platform Engineering Group, in a statement. “This new industry-standards-based thin connector, delivering data, power, and video is the only connector one will need across all devices.”


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