Universal design is great in technology, because the idea that something should work one way and not break is always going to be a benefit to the consumer. While not all cables are made with this in mind, at least one more is being developed.
If you’ve ever seen Apple’s Lightning cable, you’ve seen an example of a well designed cable. We’re not going to critique the occasional problems people have with the chip built into the top to regular power — and this is usually a result of poorly made cables, not those from Apple — but the plug is well designed.
Simple and basic, it’s a metal prong with a few connectors, and a design that makes it impossible to plug it in the wrong way. Right-side up, upside down; it’s all the same.
Apple iPhone owners know this plug well, as do iPad owners, and even people with one of the recent updates to the Apple keyboard or mouse accessories.
USB Type C is another example of a well designed cable, also known as Thunderbolt 3. The connector is reversible and can’t be inserted incorrectly, unless you’re trying to plug it into a port that isn’t USB Type C or Thunderbolt.
Some phones have this cable already, such as the HTC 10 and LG G5, while a few computers have started using it, including the HP Spectre x2, the Samsung Galaxy TabPro S, and the Apple MacBook, but not all devices are here yet.
In fact, some still rely on standard cables, with connectors like the microUSB which can only go in one way, causing some to snap if you force these poorly.
It’s not hard to get the cable in the right way, but what if you want your phone to live in that future where the cables are all easy and simple?
For that, we turn to an idea that has roots in both Australia and America, with the team at ASAP Technologies, which has come up with a concept that allows a microUSB connector to stay inside your phone and connect to a magnetic cable that detaches easily.
Called the ASAP Connect, it’s a reversible connector and plug that converts standard phones into something with a reversible design, so you never have to fiddle about with the wrong connector again.
Design is pretty simple on these things, with two parts.