Next USB Connector Will Take Cables Upside Down or Rightside Up

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One of the biggest problems you’ve ever faced in your entire life is about to become a thing of the past.

Yes, I’m talking of course about trying to plug a USB cable into your computer’s USB port on the first try. Or in the dark. Or after 13 wine spritzers (oops, I meant to say bourbon). It may not sound like much, but as our own Harry McCracken noted when talking about Apple’s new either-way-works Lightning connector during his iPhone 5 review, “Lightning introduces a feature I feel like I’ve been waiting for since I started using computers in 1978: It’s reversible.”

IDG reports that a USB standards group has unveiled plans for a new USB port that’ll take USB cables whether the little shiny rectangle is facing upwards or downwards. That means new types of cables, of course, but let’s cross that bridge when we come to it.

As for when we’ll come to said bridge, it’s probably going to be a while yet. The “Type-C” specification, as it’s being called, “is up for industry review in the first quarter of 2014 and a final specification is expected to be published by the middle of next year,” says IDG. It’ll be interesting to see how soon we’ll see devices with these new ports. My money’s on late 2014 for the first round of devices – maybe in time for the holidays – but sometime in 2015 might be a more realistic time frame for a pervasive rollout.

Next-gen USB connector will (finally!) fit both ways [PCWorld via Slashdot]