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Universal USB connector

Plugs in either way
  [vote for,

The nearly ubiquitous USB connector is fraught with a fundamental problem - it's difficult to plug in!

Numerous web-jokes [e.g. link] point out that whichever way you try to plug it in is wrong, so you flip it over, which is also wrong, requiring another flip-over, and eventually it works, after much frustration.

This idea is to create a standard USB plug which fits a USB socket in either direction and electrically swaps (GND/+5) and (Data+ / Data -).

Mechanically, it leaves out the insulating "key" plug which causes the problem, and has 4 isolated contacts on either side of the connector, which become correctly connected no matter which way up the connector is plugged in.

I don't yet have a solution for the fact that there are numerous mechanically incompatible miniaturized plugs! (Phone / camera / iPod / nook are all different!)

csea, Aug 10 2012

Wrong Way USB http://www.google.c...75&biw=1024&bih=603
GULP / PLUG [csea, Aug 10 2012]

they've been there, done that.... http://www.engadget...ug-cant-be-stopped/
[mitxela, Aug 10 2012]

The Solution To Our USB Problems http://cheezburger.com/6513965056
Another sighting [csea, Aug 16 2012]


       YES +
blissmiss, Aug 10 2012

       It reminds me of another problem that I had recently. Bought an HDD for 99$, lost the USB cord, in the same shop - it's 30$. Now, in my bag, something like 5 different cables, each for a different device: dictaphone, drawing tablet, handy scanner, camera, usb hard drive, warming slippers..., you name it, more than five.   

       Each of these devices has a different USB connector at one end, and the same at another.
Inyuki, Aug 10 2012

       //Universal USB connector   

       Vaguely tautologous, as the "U" in USB is for "Universal".   

       How about a stepped (diameter-wise) telescopic round USB connector, then it's impossible to plug in upside down and it fits all sizes?
not_morrison_rm, Aug 11 2012

       They do make standards for these things - the problem is companies choosing to ignore them. Apple make more money on their proprietary cords than they would if any generic cable worked, and they're big enough that there's nothing you can do about it.   

       Cables are one of the biggest ripoffs (ie most profitable) in the business.   

       Anyway as I linked, this idea is both patented and commercially available.
mitxela, Aug 11 2012

       So, Baked. But I'll leave this up as a pointer to a "less than well known to exist" device.   

       How about a F>M adapter that stays with the device-mounted connector; allowing any device to plug in in either orientation?
csea, Aug 11 2012


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