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SONICable Promises To Double Mobile Device Charging Speed Over USB

With phones becoming ever more powerful, it seems as though nothing will slow down the evolution of our mobile devices. However, battery life persists as a chief barrier to innovation. As phone manufacturers continue to expand on the capabilities of their products, the life of their batteries isn't progressing commensurately. We still spend too much of our time plugged into a computer or wall outlet.

Bluetech Industries is producing a new product called the SONICable that aims to be the solution to some of our charging problems.

The SONICable is a new type of cable that is currently getting funding from its Indiegogo campaign. It's the invention of Bluetech Industries, the same company that brought about the Slimger portable charger. With this new cable, charging time for mobile devices connected to a computer's USB port will be cut in half, according to Bluetech.

The SONICable accomplishes this claim by using the attached "SONIC" switch. When plugged into the USB port of a computer, it syncs data and charges the device as usual, but when switched into SONIC mode, it allocates all of its resources into charging the device. In this supercharge mode, 1000mA is sent through the cable, as opposed to the 500mA provided by USB 2.0.

This cable boasts more than just the SONIC switch. It is equipped with a dual-sided USB plug, so you "never have to worry about which side is up," as well as aluminum connectors. The cable itself is made of braided Nylon, which will leave the cable free of tangles, as well as ensuring it is strong and durable. It's also 20 percent longer than a standard USB cable, comes with a lifetime warranty, and is Apple MFi-certified. The cable will be available in Lightning Cable for iPhone and micro USB for Android.

While the SONICable claims to increase charging time when plugged into a computer, it says nothing about wall chargers. With how the cable is described to work, it's doubtful that wall charging will be any different with the SONICable.

You can currently order a SONICable for $27, which is 25 percent lower than its expected retail price. The SONICable Indiegogo campaign is scheduled to end February 23, and the cable is expected to ship in March.     

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  • weilin
    I wonder how they're pulling this off considering how USB 2.0 ports are rated at 500ma. Attempting to draw any more than that may compromise the stability of the computer...

    Does turning syncing and data off really decrease the power draw of an device enough to double the charging speed?
    Reply
  • masterchi
    "While the SONICable claims to increase charging time when plugged into a computer...", isn't it suppose to decrease charging time?
    Reply
  • alextheblue
    So if you charge exclusively via standard USB 2.0-type microUSB or Lightning cables on a PC, laptop, etc then it potentially doubles your charging speed (possible excluding devices offering ports designed to charge devices faster) . But if you already use a dedicated 1A+ charging source such as a typical modern USB power block, then it's pointless.

    More importantly, are there any brands/designs of 6-ft+ Lightning cables that really hold up for a long time? I've got family members with iPhones and a good quality 3 ft cable seems durable enough, but we've had even supposedly premium long MFi cables fail prematurely (after anywhere from couple months to almost a year). This is kind of mind blowing to me since I use microUSB and I can't ever recall having an undamaged-looking microUSB cable simply cease working. I've got a couple of long cables that are a few years old, cost a fraction of what an MFi lightning cable costs, and are still working perfectly. Meanwhile they kill at least a couple cables a year. Bad luck? Fake MFi certs?

    What really got me curious is the fact that Apple does not sell first-party cables longer than 3 feet.
    Reply
  • Mugennsx
    Nice way to reduce the reliability or life of your device's battery.
    Reply
  • alextheblue
    Nice way to reduce the reliability or life of your device's battery.

    What? No. The cable charges at 1A on a PC. A regular Lightning cable on a sufficiently powerful charging block can do 1A easily. It's nothing these devices aren't already designed for.

    Many devices (especially tablets) charge at even higher amps. 2+ amps is not uncommon. But really the devices are smart enough to draw what they need... heck even having a higher amp source doesn't necessarily mean it will charge "too fast".
    Reply
  • burkhartmj
    I'm pretty sure 500ma is the electrical limit of USB2, how can they circumvent the standard, and why would data have any impact on that.
    Reply
  • nukemaster
    Some important things here.

    1. Many computers will allow more than 500ma from a USB port. This is upto the board maker(some allow more on the back ports as well). I have boards that cut out at exactly 500ma and others that will let me pull 2 amps without issues.

    2. A device can NOT be damaged from a high current plug. Higher voltage, yes. Current? no. It will only take what it needs.

    I would guess this switch simply lies to the device telling it that it has a dedicated charger and not a computer. This would also explain why data transfers shut off. The device(phone/tablet/ect) most likely limits the charge rate when attached to a computer to adhere to the USB standards.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    15242899 said:
    Nice way to reduce the reliability or life of your device's battery.
    Not really.

    The battery charge controller is built into your phone/tablet/whatever so it does not matter how much current or power the cable can provide by whatever means that might be since your device will never draw more current than it needs. If your device is only designed for 500mA charging rate, it will current-limit itself to 500mA regardless of what the fancy cable can provide.

    Most modern devices though ship with 1.4-2A wall adapters, so even 1A is still short from the peak charging rate they are designed to handle. In many cases, voltage drop across the cable and connectors will force devices to throttle their charging rate back a few notches too.
    Reply
  • elcentral
    its like some people already stated previously. the device will try to take the ampere it needs and it will not be able to go beyond it. if you know ohms law you will understand that if you got 12V out usb and your electronics for example got 24ohm resistance U=I*R we got U=12V out on usb, we got "R=24Ohm example of a device u plug in to the usb" and you like to know how much I=ampere your unit will try to use. so now I=U/R so in this example we get 12V/24Ohm=0,5A or 500mA so in this case this cable would do nothing. the device will not use more A unless you change the Device resistance or the volt on the usb. but if the device would be at 12Ohm we would get 1A and could possible get more Watt in to the device as it will try to take 1A on the 12 volt usb. but ceep in mind 500mA is a rated Ampere not a law your mother board might let you use lots more. for example almost all 4G sticks use 800-1,000mA of your usb and they work fine so it might work.
    sorry for boring you all : ) but i to got stuck in the Ampere to usb questions once.
    Reply
  • elcentral
    well i actually forgot to mention this, it can help your device allot if you are the type of person using your phone while it charges. then it will need additional power not only to charge your batteries but also to power your device. i remember we used i-pads on a job once and they came with dirt cheap charges on 500mA and if you used the devise it would actually use up the battery at the same time it used the wall charger so 7 hours in it would die plugged in to the wall from low batterie. so if you cant stop playing games this might help you. or you get a good wall charger and don't need to worry. i still got my old Asus usb charger i believe the beast got like 2-3A it needed to charge 1 phone, 1 screen, 1 keyboard, all with its own batteries on 1 usb. its a good charger .
    Reply