Walk into any electronics store or department and you’ll likely be overwhelmed by the vast varitey of different cords and cables being offered. Highspeed HDMI cables, CAT5 cables, and fiber optic cables are just some of the many options, but one of the most popular and useful of them all are USB cables. Bulk USB cables can be used for connecting various electronic devices either for networking or power sources. The most recent development in USB cables is the USB-C series cable, which has caused quite a bit of problems for many users.
According to TheVerge.com, the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), has announced a new way to help keep devices protected from sub-par USB-C cables that have been harming some. The have established a new “USB Type-C Authentication specification.” Basically, this is a set of rules devices will follow in order to determine if the USB cables are safe for use with the device.
According to the organization that certifies cables it will, “host systems [to] confirm the authenticity of a USB device or USB charger, including such product aspects as the descriptors/capabilities and certification status.”
What this means for consumers is that cables certified under this new standard will tell the devices they’re plugged into that it’s safe to use via 128-bit encrypted communication. This will ocur immediately upon being plugged and will allow users to be able to set up functions that they wish to allow the cable to perform such as charging only, transferring data, or to only accept data from specific sources.
Using the wrong cable to charge or connect to a device can have consequences like shorter lifespan for devices like smartphone, which have about a two year life expectancy on average. The iPhone 6 takes just under and hour to charge under ideal conditions.
Just like it’s a common misconception that HDMI cables must be purchased for $50 or more, USB cables can be bought on the cheap, but it’s important to ensure you’re not buying from a shady dealer who’s products will be sub-par.
With this new standard being introduced hopefully more retailers will follow Amazon’s lead. The online retailer has been cracking down on faulty USB-C cables of late and hopefully these type of companies will start enforcing this new standard to help protect the consumer.