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Finally! New USB Standard Will Feature Reversible Connector

By - Source: USB.org | B 39 comments

No more jamming the plug in this way and that trying to figure out which way it goes.

If you're like us, you've probably found the fact that USB sticks have no indication as to which side is the top or bottom kind of annoying. After all, they can only go in one way, so why not mark which side goes up? Lucky for us, the days of constantly trying to plug USB drives, cables, and other devices in the wrong way are numbered.

USB.org says the next generation of USB connector will actually be reversible. That is, it doesn't matter which way you try to plug this baby in. The development of the new USB Type-C connector has begun, and once complete, will allow for thinner, sleeker designs, as well as support for scalable power charging and enhanced usability (including not having to worry about plug orientation/cable direction).

This supplement to the USB 3.1 specification is anticipated to be completed by the middle of next year.  The Type-C specification will hopefully see industry review in Q1 2014. Final specification is expected to be published mid-2014.

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  • 43 Hide
    pastydavid , December 4, 2013 2:29 PM
    Raise your hand if you ever went to plug a USB cord in (the right way), it didn't seem to go in, you flip it around and try again (the wrong way), said "what the hell" and turned it around and put it in the correct way. *raises hand
  • 24 Hide
    bustapr , December 4, 2013 2:07 PM
    HALELUJAH!
Other Comments
  • 24 Hide
    bustapr , December 4, 2013 2:07 PM
    HALELUJAH!
  • 3 Hide
    meowmix44 , December 4, 2013 2:13 PM
    YEAH!
  • 0 Hide
    nukemaster , December 4, 2013 2:18 PM
    I had seen some reversible USB connectors in the past from more than one company.

    It may be nice to see them ALL work this way.

    Personally, I have never had much issue with having to find out the direction to plug a USB device in.
  • 1 Hide
    halcyon , December 4, 2013 2:19 PM
    This will be nice.
  • 4 Hide
    J-M II A II N , December 4, 2013 2:22 PM
    now someone slap the crap out of then engineer that came up with what we currently have!
  • 5 Hide
    spartanmk2 , December 4, 2013 2:24 PM
    A good indication of the top side of a USB stick is the company logo and size (GB).

    Or a quick look at the end of the usb.

    Yay for progress though.



  • 0 Hide
    internetlad , December 4, 2013 2:27 PM
    This is a problem for people? Just look at which side the logo is on, and that's up.

    On the flip side, if it's like the thunderbolt connector, I don't much care for Apple but that unit is slick.
  • 43 Hide
    pastydavid , December 4, 2013 2:29 PM
    Raise your hand if you ever went to plug a USB cord in (the right way), it didn't seem to go in, you flip it around and try again (the wrong way), said "what the hell" and turned it around and put it in the correct way. *raises hand
  • 1 Hide
    nukemaster , December 4, 2013 2:50 PM
    Quote:
    This is a problem for people? Just look at which side the logo is on, and that's up.

    On the flip side, if it's like the thunderbolt connector, I don't much care for Apple but that unit is slick.

    You are thinking of lightning :) 

    Thunderbolt uses Display Port as its base connector. That can not be flipped.
  • 2 Hide
    thundervore , December 4, 2013 3:07 PM
    To everyone that says the side with the company logo is the top of the connector you ma be right in some cases but not all. I have encountered many cables from Microsoft keyboards and RIM phones that have the USB symbol on one side and the company logo on the othr side. It confuses the hell out of people because usually the USB logo must face up when you plug it in.
  • 0 Hide
    MagicPants , December 4, 2013 3:29 PM
    Any word if it will be backwards compatible? I'm hoping it's just a new port and not a new plug.
  • -2 Hide
    Johan Kryger Haglert , December 4, 2013 3:33 PM
    I don't get this "up" you're talking about. The motherboard is attached sideways ..

    As for having had reversible usb connectors, no, but maybe a cable with usb connectors on one end or for a similar use.

    As for flipping the cable parallell ata cables in disc drives are way worse.
  • 0 Hide
    saidge , December 4, 2013 3:57 PM
    The bottom has a seam down the middle of the metal connector. Yet to see one that isn't set up this way.
  • 3 Hide
    teh_chem , December 4, 2013 3:59 PM
    Not saying I wouldn't appreciate this, but what I'd really like is for someone to put an end to some of the flimsy slide-out connectors. Probably half of the ones I've used just retract when the slightest pressure is put on the tip, forcing the user to wedge the slider open while cramming it into a USB port.

    Yes, I know that's beyond the scope of this. Still would be nice.
  • -1 Hide
    sonofliberty08 , December 4, 2013 4:13 PM
    "it doesn't matter which way you try to plug your stick in this baby."
  • 2 Hide
    vern72 , December 4, 2013 4:31 PM
    Quote:
    This is a problem for people? Just look at which side the logo is on, and that's up.

    On the flip side, if it's like the thunderbolt connector, I don't much care for Apple but that unit is slick.


    Sometimes it's not that easy. For instance, the microUSB plug on my Nexus 5 is upside down (meaning the top of the plug is up when the screen is facing down). Took me a few tries to figure that out.
  • 1 Hide
    jeffbernent , December 4, 2013 6:21 PM
    WOW, it is fantastic!!!
  • 0 Hide
    DRosencraft , December 4, 2013 6:54 PM
    Nice, I guess, but it's not that big a deal. I mean really, it takes only what, a few seconds to get it right? I appreciate the whole idea of just making things simpler and work better, but this isn't exactly something I think is worth much celebration. Really sort of "meh".
  • 0 Hide
    lp231 , December 4, 2013 7:22 PM
    Not sure how Type C will look like, but this idea isn't new.

    http://www.inewidea.com/2011/01/27/36325.html

    Not as cool as the one above, but there are reversible USB cables
    http://www.cdw.com/shop/products/Tripp-Lite-18-Inch-USB-2.0-Universal-Reversible-Cable-Right-M-F-18in/3111326.aspx


  • 1 Hide
    Bloob , December 4, 2013 9:08 PM
    Holes up, not that difficult. Still, a welcome change.
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