Infinite USB multi-plug concept could prove to be useful

Infinite USB multi-plug concept could prove to be useful

Summary: Though its just a concept for now, designer Gonglue Jiang has invented the Infinite USB plug, which could increase how many USB devices a person can connect to a computer at one time.

TOPICS: Hardware

Though its just a concept for now, designer Gonglue Jiang has invented the Infinite USB plug, which could increase how many USB devices a person can connect to a computer at one time.

As evident from the design, you could just plug USB plug after USB plug, saving a whole lot of time and frustration when you might only have one or two USB ports at your disposal.

There would be natural limitations, though. For instance, on a laptop, a user could only uses a handful at a time, depending how much this would drain the battery quicker. And while it may be more productive to have all these gadgets plugged in at once, how many more cords do you really want on your deskat one time?

Despite the hindrances noted above, I'm still all for this design and hope it becomes a reality, as even two or three USB cables combined together would save me some trouble once in a while.

Topic: Hardware

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  • I think power is the issue

    Most USB devices are either very low powered (like a mouse or USB flash) or have their own power source (like a printer). But for devices like a USB hard drive which depend on the USB bus for power (and I've come across many computers in which the USB power supply is still inadequate for a hard drive) I don't see how a multi-plug concept would be a good thing.
    Michael Kelly
  • "Designer" has no idea

    You can't plug multiple devices into one USB socket just like that. You need a thing called a "hub". You can buy them in cheap stores.

    Conceivably each of those plugs could have a hub inside with minimal power demand. But an infinite stack of devices still isn't possible - you can have either 127 or 63, I think. And I'm not sure whether hubs themselves count in the total.

    And what about memory sticks?

    No. This is just a cartoon.
    Robert Carnegie 2009
    • Re: "Designer" has no idea

      @Robert Carnegie 2009 My netbook has 2 usb ports, and the infinite usb plug, of what you said, gives at least 63 extra ports. 63 x 2 = 126 ports, thats more than i'll ever need. Even if i can't have 126 ports, 20 ports is alot.
  • Power Limitations

    "Infinite" is a pretty extravagant word. One definition of power is voltage multiplied by current. You need both to make a hardware device run correctly. If the USB devices are wired serially, the voltage drops on each device would eventually fall below the required voltage to run correctly. If the USB devices are wired in parallel, the current would drop with each parallel branch and be below the required current for the devices to work correctly. It is possible to design combination circuits with series and parallel elements but ultimately these can be thevenized down to either a simple series or simple parallel circuit.

    One possible solution would be to pick either series or parallel and add in sources for power element that is being dropped over the circuit elements.

    However, you would still be limited by how much load your multiple sources could handle.
  • Chill out, guys.

    It's infinite in the same way cellphone data plans are infinite: you have more than you will probably need.

    Besides, it's called the infinite USB plug, not the infinite USB connection. You can keep plugging these guys together forever, nobody said the computer will recognize all the devices attached :P
    • You nailed it..

      There were talking about nonsense. Good that you stopped their talk :)
  • Nice idea, but I'll wait for Light Peak. [nt]

  • RE: Infinite USB multi-plug concept could prove to be useful

    This is not that revolutionary. It acts like an unpowered USB hub. Yawn. Yeah, and if you don't watch out, power issues can kill your USB port.
  • RE: Infinite USB multi-plug concept could prove to be useful

    Besides the power issues, it's a bit awkward that in order to disconnect the (in this example) blue plug, you end up disconnecting all of them.

    A USB hub fixes both those problems - that's what it's for...

    This isn't bad for a quick hack, but I also think it becomes very impractical very quickly.
  • cute, but not wise... Fire the designer!

    USB ports cannot handle this mechanically. the stress on the port by the leverage created by this would physically damage the machines. I support hardware that is used in a garage. USB ports are not that durable. Sure they'll handle a memory chip in and out thousands and thousands of times, but they don't do so well with a heavy cable that puts torque on the port.
  • Would work for me

    I have three cameras with a different USB cable for each. I could leave all three plugged into the same port all the time - I only connect one camera at a time.

    It would have to be a dongle with a USB port where the cable is now...
  • To reduce the stress, just an extension

    Initially I thought this would add too much stress to the initial port, however this could be addressed by simply using an extension between that port and any flat surface. It should be noted that I'm using a 1-to-4 miniature hub right now that simply hangs out of the initial port, turning it into 4 ports. It does stress the port, but with creative placement of the other USB devices, I've made it usable.
  • RE: Infinite USB multi-plug concept could prove to be useful

    I think that for the average usage of a USB port (charging stuff, connecting camera's (webcam or otherwise) and the normal uses that I would like to have then personally this works for me and probably 90% of other users. I'd invest in it.....assuming the technology was proven and worked. It solves the key issues most laptop users have - not enough USB ports to charge stuff with when on the move. But it has to work, of course. And hey, give the guy a break - he is only trying to solve peoples USB problems - and I've not seen many people with a solution like that and daisy chaining solves most peoples issues...
  • ?invention? ha! pass-thru connectors have been around for quite a long time

    i have an external disk drive that has a pass-thru ps2 connector for power.

    i have an external floppy drive that has a pass-thru parallel port. (LS120)

    etc. etc. etc.

    nice colorful design.
    but i wouldn't call it an invention.
    i think somebody needs to learn how to do research before posting.

  • RE: Infinite USB multi-plug concept could prove to be useful

    Nice idea but what about the weight of these putting strain on the usb port and on each other, unless you put a usb patch cable between the computer and them and have them flat on your desk. personally I would avoid this to prevent damage to my computers.
  • Hell

    I like it. I'm using enough USB ports as it is and matter of fact, my new computer has 16 (sixteen) USB ports because I have so much $hit always hooked up.

  • What a pointless design.

    Its more convenient to use a powered hub to extend a laptop's USB ports. The host socket delivers 200ma to any device plugged into it, however USB specs allow for it to call for another 100ma, where multiple devices plugged in simply pull whatever the port supplies. Some ports only supply 200-250ma maximum - thats enough to run a Bluetooth and a mouse, but adding anything else would cause a failure. I dont see how three or four devices tops could be called infinite...

    If the first one had its own power supply and disconnected the internal power from the host it might be vaguely useful, but the design is still fatally flawed. USB sockets are notorious for being weak and in stupid places, what about Dell, who often put theirs vertically - the cables would all point downwards and twist the socket hard enough to break the solder. They are only surface-mounted and dont even have pins through the circuit-board for stability anymore.

    What if I wanted to remove a device from the middle, it would also disconnect everything downline. Stupid!

    The only use I could see for them is if I had a bunch of printers, or something else that had power supplies and only used the data lines in their leads.

    That being said, they do come in a nice, tasteful range of colours...
    • I just noticed, he intends to provide one with a PSU.

      But it would have to be the first plug, and is basically a one-port powered hub...

      The rest of the bludgeoning I rained on it still stands though...
  • Looks great - interesting concept

    @Robert Carnegie: You can plug USB items together
    like that - I remember (quite fondly) some of the
    first USB devices that came out - including an USB
    keyboard which had a USB slot in the side of it.
    It worked and worked well - plugged the mouse into
    it at that stage. Now, I'd put a memory stick in
    it, except that I can't find them anymore. Sigh.
  • To the Nay-Sayers - Let's Summarize...

    Not a hub - Apparently you can get one powered... Check!

    Stress on socket - Use USB extender cable to reach flat surface... Check!

    Removing "middle" device - Unplug device from the OTHER END OF THE CABLE (the cable stays connected)... d'oh!... Check!

    Any more questions?