Next-gen USB plug will be tiny and reversible

Summary:A consortium of tech companies is working on a sleeker, more usable USB connector.

A group of technology companies is working on a next-gen USB Type-C connector. And while the consortium hasn't released images of what it will look like, we know that it will be small, reversible just like Apple's Lightening connector and support scalable power charging. 

The new connector, designed for the USB 3.1 specification, is expected to be completed by the middle of 2014, the group said in a release. The design aims to make USB easier to use (no more worrying about the orientation of the plug) and set it up for performance enhancements for future versions. 

The new USB plug and receptacle will not be compatible with existing USB plugs (Type-A, Type-B, Micro-B etc.). Which means that collection of MicroUSB cables accumulating around your office and home will be obsolete and destined for the land (or in my case, box) of forgotten and out-of-date technology. 

However, the group says the Type-C specification will "define passive new-to-existing cables and adapters to allow users to use their existing products."

Thumbnail photo: Flickr user Baddog_

This post was originally published on

Topics: Innovation


Kirsten Korosec has written for Technology Review, Marketing News, The Hill, BNET and Bloomberg News. She holds a degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She is based in Tucson, Arizona. Follow her on Twitter.

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