The USB standard has spawned quite a few connector variants over the year. Apart from the basic “A” connector (the one that you put in one way, then the other way, and finally the right way), there have been quite a few mini and micro variants of the “B” connector. Now, with “C” we seen to be approaching, finally, a reduction in the number. But it seems to me that there is a need for another variant…
Recently, I have bought quite a few wireless devices that all share the property that they use a non-standard USB connector to charge. Unfortunately, they do not share the connector.
The Jaybird X3 charger is a little cradle that holds the device in place mechanically, with four pins in a zig-zag pattern:
Plantronics Voyager, with four pins in a row. Holds the headset in place with a magnet:
Finally, the Garmin Vivosmart 3, with four pins in a square held in place by a clip:
In contrast to these examples, quite a few other little things like speakers and computer wireless headphones charge using the nice standard micro USB B connectors. When traveling, it is enough to bring a single cable to keep things charge… but with these non-standard connectors, I either have to buy doubles of each charger cable or just move the cables around with me. Annoying.
So, I think we need another USB standard connector for devices where a flat on-the-surface connection is suitable. I would love to have a single cable along that could be used for all the wireless devices.
It makes a lot of sense for these kinds of devices not to use a micro-USB plug that requires a hole. There is not a lot of room, and waterproofing is likely easier without the hole.
* I guess that technically, these are just charging cables that happen to use USB at the other end. But it still makes sense