Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

Reversible Micro-USB Cable

So as you know, Apple designed their Lightning connector so that it can be reversible. Plug-in anyway to your i-device, and it just works. The USB Implementers Forum then came along with USB Type-C. They made the ubiquitous USB become suddenly so complicated. But Type-C was reversible too. Did anyone wonder, could they simply not just design existing USB cables to be reversible?

Reversible Micro-USB

Yes, I know there are some Type-A ends (the part that goes into your computer) that are reversible. But how about the Micro-USB connector itself? After all, it’s partly because of the non-reversibility of Micro-USB that Type-C tries to improve on.

It turns out, it is possible to make Micro-USB reversible. Here’s the MicFlip from WinnerGear. I got it from their Indiegogo project.

MicFlip Reversible Micro-USB

It’s a pity their Type-A end isn’t reversible, which seems to be an easier problem to solve. But more importantly, of course, is the reversible Micro-USB end. Does it work? Yes, it really works. It charges, and it syncs, whichever way you plug it in. It’s completely functional, and now I use it every day.

So now, you’d wonder, why didn’t anyone do this earlier? Why did we need Type-C? Surely there could be a way to get other benefits of Type-C (other than its reversibility) in a backward compatible Micro-USB connector? After all, when moving from USB 2.0 to USB 3.0 (which is now called USB 3.1 gen 1), where there are more signal or electrical pins, they could still make the Type-A port backward compatible.

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