USB Type-C The Future of Connection
Google and Apple have both embraced the latest in USB technology. The USB cable has been around since the mid-90's connecting printers, scanners, cameras, phones and most other peripheral devices. One end of this cable has remained pretty standard, the other end has varied greatly depending on the product you are trying to connect.
The possibilities that the latest USB standard brings to computer users is incredible. In the very near future anyone with a Mac, Windows machine or Google Chromebook could theoretically walk up to the same desktop workstation, connect one cable and begin working immediately. That one cable would provide power, display , network connection and any other peripheral devices connected by a single dock. Current products like the Belkin Thunderbolt Dock provide much of this functionality today for the Mac, minus the all important power. I currently use this Belkin Thunderbolt everyday to connect my Mac to my office workstation and my home. But I still have to provide a separate power source and it only works with my Macs.
As with any new technology there will be some inconveniences as the technology becomes more prevalent. Users are already moaning and groaning about the need for more dongles. You will need special adapter to connect to any current portable hard drive, phone or accessory you connect to your computer. We are in a time of transition, much the way we moved from Apple’s 30 pin cable to the lightening adapter, the way we moved from micro to macro usb adapters. There will be nuances and annoyances in this process but as companies adopt this new technology the future of one connector for all you devices could finally become reality.
The next big question is how will mobile adopt the new USB C standard. Google has already indicated that they will be working to include this in their future nexus devices. We have no idea if Apple, Microsoft or other handset makers will embrace this one connector technology. As an iPhone user I would love to see Apple pick up on this trend. I could unplug my laptop and charge my phone, I could charge my phone from my laptop, and the connector would be so universal it would be great to think that most place you go you could find the power cable you need.
I am very excited to see the path that manufacturers take going forward on this new standard. I am pleasantly shocked to see Apple be such an early adopter on such an open standard and even indicated they won’t block any of the functionality to third party accessory makers. Hopefully by the end of 2015 we will all be able to share cables, connectors and ease of use across all platforms.