There's Going To Be a New, Reversible USB Plug

Illustration for article titled There's Going To Be a New, Reversible USB Plug

Holy mother of all things long overdue. After years of subjecting us to fumbling and rotating cables blindly behind devices around the world, the powers that (US) be have decided to make a Universal Serial Bus plug that is reversible.


In a press release, the USB 3.0 Promoter Group—that's a thing, it really is!—just announced a new Type-C connector. Designed to "enable an entirely new super-thin class of devices from phones to tablets, to 2-in-1s, to laptops to desktops", the new connector will be around the size of a Micro USB plug. Perhaps even more importantly, though, it will finally be reversible.

By now, you may've figured that the new standard will break compatibility with existing USB connectors. But then, USB is beginning to show its age, seeming large and clunky even in its Micro guise—especially compared to the sleek lines of the (already reversible) Apple Lightning connector. And anyway, there will probably be a slew of converters and a long ol' tapering period during a changeover.

It's currently unclear what the data and power handling capabilities of the new Type-C connector will be, but it will presumably sit alongside the forthcoming 10Gbps 3.1 cable. Either way, the USB 3.0 Promoter Group expects that specifications will be finalized by the middle of 2014. We're excited to see what happens. [USB 3.0 Promoter Group via Verge]

Image by Bill Selak under Creative Commons license


Tomas Kapler

I still wonder why reversible plug must be backwards incompatible - it is perfectly possible to create reversible usb plug which would work in most outlets - just the inner part without the steel outside, with reversed pins on the other side.

And if there have to be another usb version, then PLEASE - negotiate with Apple and standardize their lightning as new usb, or at least create some dual connector -(similar to sata/usb connectors).