in Lifestyle

Cables in a wireless world

Spaghetti cableWhen I hit the road I found myself bringing with me a lot of stuff that I think I will need during my travels.

Here is a list of things that you can usually find in my bag:

  • Personal computer with power supply.
  • Usually a couple of mobile phones (sometimes three or more depending on the purpose of the trip) with travel charger and data cable connections for those who do not support bluetooth.
  • iPod nano with USB cable.
  • Digital audio recorder with USB data connection cable.
  • Digital camera with power supply and USB data connection cable.
  • Portable hard disk drive with USB data connection cable.
  • GPS navigation system that is made of a recycled iPaq 5450 and GPS sensor both with travel chargers.

If a am travelling for holidays I usually drop the digital recorder and add up a video camera with its power supply and firewire cable.

Let’s do the math: more than 4 power supplies, more than 5 or 6 different data cables and more and 6 or 7 different devices.

That’s absolutely crazy.

First thing. The first issue that you will face is that if you are being lodged in a hotel room there are not enough power plug to fit all of your power supplies. That’s a matter of fact. This situation will get worse if you are travelling abroad and need to add a number of power plug adapters in your backpack.
In this case you will have to look at your agenda and define a charging sequence for your devices. Something that may cause some issue to the best project managers in the world.

Second thing. No matter what attention you pay while buying some new electronic device you will find yourself with a different power supply with proprietary power plug connector and data cable.

Lucky us that in Italy we do not have any kind of pagers or that would add another device to the list.

I wonder why nobody is doing anything trying to normalize this situation.

I perfectly understand that industrial design constraints sometimes forces manufacturers to adopt proprietary fancy connectors but they should start to think to a normalization process.

In the ideal world I would not like to carry any data cable. I would like everything to be done over the air. (bluetooth, WiFi, UWB, whatever the technology but wireless).

I would like to have only one power supply for all of my devices or, at least, have the possibility to charge some of the devices using the USB port to which data cable are usually connected to.

Why do I blog this? We are really living in a wireless world. All of your data is travelling over the air in a very fast pace. Unfortunately you are still tied to the wall in order to make things work. How long will customers accept this?

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  1. “Why does every single digital appliance come with a different form of power supply?” said our beloved and untimely dead Douglas Adams (The Salmon of Doubt, 2002), starting with a witty but deep analysis of our strange world where technologies rules and sometimes we are the innocent victims. Very good topic Alex!