Since the dawn of time (or at least of USB ports), folks have been struggling to insert plugs the right way up. Odds are you’ve poked the wrong end of a plug into a phone or PC at one point or another while trying to charge your device, connect a flash drive, hook up a printer, or perform some other process that shouldn’t cause you to scratch your device.

Soon those days will be over… sort of. The folks that approve specifications for USB connectors have announced that a new Type C connector is on the way. It’s about the size of a microUSB connector, and there’s no chance of inserting it wrong-side-up, because it’s reversible. You can insert either end.

There’s just one problem: all those devices that you have which already use standard USB or mini or micro USB cables won’t be compatible with the new spec. So you won’t be able to use existing cables, chargers, and other goodies.

xkcd

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3 replies on “Lilbits (12-04-2013): Reversible USB plugs”

  1. Reversable USB plugs would not be necessary if the USB specification had required some positive inidication of which way was “up”. Some manufactures actually do this. Blackberry stamps their logo on the “up” side of the USB plug. It can be hard to see in low light, but in regular light it makes plugging in my Playbook a breeze. If a high contrast logo or arrow or something was required in the USB specification a redesign would not be needed (at least for this). They are adding a bunch of new features to the new specification so I guess a redesign was going to happen anyway.

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