Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Plaid conductor (Redundant Array of Independent Conductors)

Quick toss any two USB cables on top of each other; wow! They can keep all their signals and power straight and separate from one onother. It's like tossing plaid on plaid always makes a good connection!
  [vote for,

My Phone's -sometimes-right-side-up- USB mini connector is loose and unreliable.

What if instead they had used an anyside up connector? What if there was a connector that functioned at the slightest proximity with good data communication and voltage supply to the e-thing?

There is no such thing You say? I say use the Plaid Connector (RAIC).

Ok, just think of two pieces of plaid fabric and a CPU.

You toss one piece of plaid on the other, and inevitably some of the lines will cross. You do not know which lines, as you didn't actually lay them on top of each other (connect them) in any particular order. You just know, geometrically, some lines on fabric 1 cross likes on fabric 2.

That's where the CPU comes in. In looks at (polls) each line on the plaid to see if it has any electricity on it, as compared to all the other plaid lines in serial and parallel.

Pretty quick (nanoseconds) the 3.6 GHz CPU knows which lines on the plaid are USB data and which lines are voltage. Then it just aligns what it likes, and Hey! You've got +/- 5v and some data lines.

Don't worry if the thing jiggles, we'll recalculate the plaid identity and find the new +/- 5V and data lines in a few nanoseconds afresh. In fact, if you are using a slowpoke 2020 USB connection you may not even notice a data interruption (assuming the plaid-resolver can work as fast as a 3.6 GHz CPU).

But wait! you say. I've heard of geometry, I've seen plaid. All those lines overlaying would just short out!

That;s why instead of plaid you use RAIC (Redundant Array of Independent Conductors); picture the 10x10 times table lots of boxes, each box is a little flat metal nub. Lay a couple times tables on each other and get the advantages of the plaid conductor, only in working form.

Also, why stop at just a 10x10 times table. Why not have a 40x40 times table of little metal nubs and then let the 3.6 GHZ CPU figure out what goes with what. That's so much redundancy that splitting your +/-5V and data lines over 1600 little metal nubs makes sure something's connected.

Also, you might be thinking, "well, I don't know about these little metal nubs". Hey! Some of them are kind of convex, and some of them are kind of concave. No, they don't have to nest, its just likely out of 1600 of them some will protuberate or provide a deep ladle for some other conductor. actually there's alot to be said for sinusoidal undulations as well.

Be sure to wrap some of the 1600 nubs around the sides of the connector as well. Sometimes when you lay two things on each other there is a chance they might warpedly double-convex dish lay together (), skipping most of the allegedly flat part in the middle, but the edge conductors, well, if you are just tosssing thing on thing, gravity makes it so something contacts. If it were a square RAIC thingy (and it could be a circle instead) there would be 160 (4 sides of 40) wrapped-around-the-edge conductors to transmit power and data, even if there was pesky warping.


So great, going back to plaid, I've tossed two things on each other and they always work. the CPU resolves what conductor has what thing going on. They are literally just laying there.

For some technologies just tossing two things on each other is great. Conductive phone faceplates doing 40x40 RAIC can just be tossed on another RAIC surface, USB optional/uneccessary, and the phone can recharge and /or do USB things. From what I read RAIC is imaginably 10 times faster recharging than inductive wireless recharging. The convenience of just tossing your phone on the pad is still there though.

But how does it look? Well, PEDOT is a transparent conductive polymer, and as such you can put it on phone faceplates that have almost any graphic or color on them at the RAIC +/-5v data and USB connector.

How about a flash drive? In my life I'm thinking: Uh-oh the physical metal of the connector is getting a little distorted, will it really last another year or two? Well, with a RAIC (Redundant Array of Independent Conductors) conductive polymer 40x40 matrix on the outside of the flash drive you can just toss it on a phone charger to rescue the data if the plug-in ceases working.

OK, but what if you are mildly sensible, and enjoy that when you plug something in, it is stationary, you know where it is, and even though I say 3.6GHz RAIC conductor finding-out-what's-what (resolution) would handle most USB wiggle changes you have your sights on data communications speeds far higher than USB and 3.6GHZ.

Basically, let's say you want to plug a device in. Well you can. RAIC works great with a dedicated plug. its got 1600 nubs and CPU resolution. If it gets bendy it still works. The 1600 (40x40) conductors can have pretty wide engineering tolerances because of the CPU resolution (finding out what's what) layer. You don't have to match them. Once resolved, if stationary because it's a plug, the super high beyond GHz data rates are possible because it omits needing to be re-resolved from interruptive motions.

Now, what about how it actually works, eh? 1) I say CPU 3.6 GHz resolution, but when was the last time you heard of a CPU with power transistors in in it. I haven't heard of such a thing. There could easily be such a thing though.

That suggests that rather than CPU based "what's what" resolution you might make another IC, that can handle power and speed faster than 3.6GHz. Five picosecond (trillionths of a second) speeds were published in 2020 [link]. I think smarter people would actually put the RAIC resolver on the same computer chip as the e-thing's CPU though as that way you still get the phone-like ""hey, I took it apart, it's only got one integrated circuit in it, and it does everything!", "Yeah, one chip makes it cheaper to make, dude."

3.6GHz is a 3 nanometer chip feature size speed. If you make your chips with lots larger features (Or non silicon materials) you can get much higher speeds. Its very old data, but during 2005, 15 years ago, the fastest switching transistor was 604 GHz. I just read about 2020 switching transistors that work at 5 picoseconds, and support THz ( Trillionth of a second) data activities. That suggests that a dedicated bit of semiconductor can do RAIC (Redundant Array of Independent Conductors) connection, sorting out what's what (resolution) 100 times faster than 10Gb/second optical internet, possibly resulting in zero data loss even if there is connector wiggling, or purposefully casual "toss on" connection.

As a mild and enjoyable application, children have toys. What if you just got an E-towel, and put an e-towel on every toy shelf? With RAIC all the toys would recharge automatically without any tedious plugging in. Actual chldren may of course prefer to not quite clean their room, but toss the toys they like onto the part of the floor with the RAIC e-Rug that recharges (regardless of connection). If there's nifty new things the toys are doing with data, the e-Rug does data things with them at Gigabyte speeds. People wondering about e-rug conductors could look no further than conductive PEDOT, or optically tansparent tin oxide coatings on rug threads of any color.

An application of RAIC I like: Robot hands: One application of what I really want to call plaid conductors but is actually RAIC is robot hands. Robots hands with conductor matrices (better than 40x40) perhaps matrices at each fingertip, and at humaniform gynoid robots, each fingertip and toetip, and knuckle, and face feature, in fact the entire robot external body can have invisible/colorized PEDOT interface data communications without plugging anything in utilizing RAIC. There is a lot to be said for just making the entire surface of the robot be Redundant Array of Independent Conductor (RAIC) covered. Considering robots, The 5 picosecond "what's what" resolution of 2020 transistors is likely to go up a few orders of magnitude more as well. 3D printing with composite conductive polymers is published, so 40x40 RAIC conductors per cm ^2 would be very low resolution. Transparent conductive polymers like PEDOT are published, and can even be made in different colors. (see note). I think they will create much higher resolution for 3D printed conductive polymers.

Note: PEDOT is a transparent conductive polymer. I glanced at a patent for using purified isotopes that makes optical fibers about 3 orders of magnitude more transparent. It is possible that using purified single isotopes at PEDOT or other transparent conducting polymers would make them more transparent, more conductive, or both. That would be great for robots and consumer electronics items. Deuterium is only 63 cents a gram, I do not know how much single carbon, sulfur, oxygen, and oxygen are.

beanangel, Dec 17 2020


       I like RAIC as robot skin.   

       Hmmm... Why have I never seen a flash drive with two USB plug ins on it, both identical? ={ ]= That's a very cheap big data rescue right there. Seriously. It is a 1Tb flash drive. There's a lot of stuff on there and I want it to keep working. redundant USB connectors would be cheap and I could get over the aesthetics. They could even have a plastic-pop cap on both ends so it looked like a talented industrial designer made it look gorgeous.
beanangel, Dec 17 2020

       //Plaid// sp. tartan
pocmloc, Dec 17 2020

       Now if it were really plaid, and not RAIC (Redundant Array of Independent Conductors) I could cozy up to 3M, they have products actually named Tartan(tm). All of my ideas are public domain though so I can only think the RAIC idea is, in some ways, so obvious that a connector standards working group will think of the same thing, and it being public domain on the internet will make their standard have less fuss, and more application.
beanangel, Dec 17 2020

       My point is that (apart from in America where things tend to be wrong anyway), "plaid" means a blanket whereas "tartan" refers to the distinctively striped / checked design pattern.
pocmloc, Dec 17 2020

       I was wondering where Vernon had wandered off to. Turns out he morphed into beanie.   

       Or, you could just have symmetrical connectors like the USB- C or Lightning.
RayfordSteele, Dec 17 2020

       We thought from the title that this would be something about classical orchestras ...
8th of 7, Dec 17 2020

       Conductors usually wear black suits with a rather distinct billed cap. Plaid must be the new Scotch thing.
whatrock, Dec 17 2020

       //Conductors usually wear black suits with a rather distinct billed cap.//   

       I think the color of the suit varies with the bus company, but the cap is a common feature.
bs0u0155, Dec 17 2020

       <Eric Morecambe misquote>   

       "I'm playing all the right notes, they're just not necessarily plaid in the right order"   

       </Eric Morecambe misquote>
8th of 7, Dec 17 2020

       //I'm playing all the right notes// on a tartan-themed idea... [8th]... you got a practice set of bagpipes for Christmas! Well done for overcoming your nerves and diving in. I know you will love them. We will all listen when you have practiced your piece well enough to play for us.
pocmloc, Dec 17 2020

       // We will all listen... //   

       From a safe distance. Like overseas.
whatrock, Dec 17 2020

       //Or, you could just have symmetrical connectors like the USB- C or Lightning.// - yes, but who wants a solution that’s cheaper, less likely to burst into flames, looks better, and is more reliable than what’s proposed here?
hippo, Dec 17 2020

       Nissan Prius drivers ?   

       // We will all listen when you have practiced your piece well enough to play for us. //   

       You can listen right now; hear that crackling, snapping noise ? That's it. They burn quite beautifully ...
8th of 7, Dec 17 2020

       Oh go on, you don't need to keep pretending. You're among friends, we know how much it means to you.
pocmloc, Dec 17 2020

       The proposed benefit seems to be USB connectivity on contact, without plugging anything in. Is that correct?   

       And the means is a CPU carrying on one or more USB- protocol dialogs over constantly changing physical channels.   

       Actually, if there were more than one dialog in parallel, then the edge cases might kill you, but I don't know enough about USB protocol to confirm that.
pertinax, Dec 17 2020

       I was a bit daunted by the sheer amount of tossing I would be required to perform.
bhumphrys, Dec 18 2020


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