Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Talking wires and cables

Touch a cable under your desk and it tells you 'I'm the printer' or I'm the mouse'
  [vote for,

Wires and cables all look the same The Orange Tent company has patented a way for a wire to identify itself and its status verbally - just by touching it or coming near it.

When you touch a wire (or knock on a wall in a specific way) the wire you touch or knock near will call out what it does where it goes and whether it is on or not (power / data going into it) This saves time figuring out which cable is for what and diagnosing problems - and safety. If a wire is live it will shout out before you touch it using electostatic detection (as in Sawstop)

This is for future and existing wiring For future wiring the information is encoded along a separate channel on the wire For existing wire, a programmable tab can be attached to the wire

xanacan, Feb 25 2021

Derived from this? https://newsbeezer....ch-sensitive-cable/
Google idea from 3 years ago. [neutrinos_shadow, Feb 26 2021]


       Neat idea but how does it work? You referred to the Orange Tent company. What's that?
doctorremulac3, Feb 25 2021

       [xanacan]; this site is for discussing ideas, not advertising new products.
neutrinos_shadow, Feb 25 2021

       What language would they speak in?
pocmloc, Feb 25 2021

       Welcome to here. Have your first croissant fragment. [+] Mine are hard to win and worth a hundred of those from whom I will simply refer to as "the rest".
xenzag, Feb 25 2021

       We prefer the term "others" thankyouverymuch.   

       Cables could be covered with a 'rumble strip'. The rumble strip would be made of circumferential ridges/grooves on the cable, so would work from any side of the cable.   

       When you drag a resilient rigid sheet up or down it (e.g. a plastic ruler), it vibrates to make a distinctive sound which is associated with cord type ("bzz, bzz, bzz" is a monitor, a rising/falling tone is a power cable, etc).
xaviergisz, Feb 26 2021

       'Stop it; that tickles!'
pertinax, Feb 26 2021

       [xanacan] Other than being a bit of a profile ghost, once having an idea, or derived idea, the hard work starts now. Research into whether it is viable. Halfbakery is a small step. Although, there are clever brains here that can give tips. How it works ?, protocols, hardware . Is it able to be applied to current cables? Do you really want to run with the product? And sadly, costings.
wjt, Feb 26 2021

       Well yes, what they all said. I have always wanted invisible cables and invisible extension cords…
xandram, Feb 26 2021

       //once having an idea, or derived idea, the hard work starts now// Only for the various minions, wire strippers cog teeth counters and other sweaty geeks in the basement. The cloud dwellers will be chilling on a deckchair, cocktail in hand, listening to the trees rustling and the birds singing.
xenzag, Feb 26 2021

       //I just use different colored cables. -- kdf, Feb 26 2021// - but what if you're a blind electrician? Then, cables which audibly say what they are would be quite useful
hippo, Feb 26 2021

       Where does the sound come from?   

       Suppose I run a USB-C extension cable from the kitchen to the upstairs cactus potting room. How does the cable know whether the kitchen end is plugged into the antique battery-operated printer and the other end into a raspberry pi? How can it then tell if I unplug the pi and attach a handbell simulator, and unplug the printer and plug in a 5-way hub?   

       Seems to me that all of the computing power has to be integrated into the cable, because otherwise you are going to be attaching non-compatible devices. So I am thinking that there is some kind of hub which attaches to each cable (or perhaps attaches to all cables). When you plug in a USB illuminated dancing snowman, the hub first of all pings the snowman to see what kind of a device it is. But really this all depends on what is at the other end as well.   

       There is a difference between attaching the far end of the cable to a power supply (to charge and/or illuminate the snowman) or plugging the other end into a computer (to programme the snowman's movements and colours). In each case the cable merely passes data and power back and forth, negotiating the use of the cable - the snowman requests a certain charging current, and indicates its ability to also accept data. The power block would ignore the data requests, but the computer would respond to them and would start sending instructions back down the cable.   

       Presumably implementing such a man-in-the-middle attack could well be overcome or even rejected by the device at each end. There would be security concerns as well as the real possibility of failure.   

       Perhaps more practical would be a whole-house monitoring system as has been proposed on here before. The system watches everything you do, and watches the ends of the cables, and watches the behaviour of your devices as you connect and disconnect everything. It could have sensors built into the wall, so it knows where the middles of the cable runs are as well. The it could speak to you telling you what you are doing wrong. "No you dolt, that cable is powering your premature daughter's life support machine. Don't unplug it! Its the right hand plug that is connected to the burning chip pan" etc.   

       That of course raises the question of recursion, the whole house cable monitoring system will have its own cabling. Presumably it would have to also monitor itself in real time. Could get tricky.
pocmloc, Feb 26 2021

       [poc] you raise some excellent point - I now see this self-monitoring as the same as in '2001: A Space Odyssey' when HAL was aware that bit of circuitry were being unplugged.

At the risk of sounding sceptical, I'm going to raise the risk that this might be starting to become over-engineered, with every cable in the house capable of handling anything from a low-power USB data signal to the 35A load to power your oven.
hippo, Feb 26 2021

       A choir of singing cables would make a nice instrument.
xenzag, Feb 26 2021

       //how does it work?//   

       It contains a small battery of high endurance, a button, and a speaker. The part about "when pulled" is a bad idea but could be implemented with a tension meter.
Voice, Feb 26 2021

       //We prefer the term "others"//   

       Ooh, ooh can I be "Outsider"?
Voice, Feb 26 2021

       A computer in the form of a cable, like a neuron, could be viable. Sole purpose is to transfer electron volumes and monitors the channels and listens to traffic to support primary purpose. Sheath sensors would know when the cable-puter is touched or damaged. Status could be done by packet generation in channel.   

       A cat o'nine tails cable could be a switch, router or even a throughput processor. HAL would definitely know when this cable is being unplugged.   

       Macrame any one?
wjt, Feb 28 2021

       //listening to the trees rustling and the birds singing//   

       Will that be enough to drown out the distant subterranean sounds of morlocks sharpening their knives?
pertinax, Feb 28 2021

       [pocmloc]; I would think that it is the things that the cable is plugged in to that tell the system what they are (& I would think that most devices identify themselves anyway for a system to work...), and wait for the "touched!" input. The cable (touch-sensitive cover) is simply another input device.
Where the speaker is, is another question (ie: printer connected to server: no speaker available in that pair, so how does it say "cable from server to printer"?).
neutrinos_shadow, Feb 28 2021

       ^ Placed packets on the network that make it to your connected cellphone and ... speaking app. Though, app could be at any capable device yelling from study.
wjt, Mar 01 2021


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