The magical $10,000 cable.
Recently I was shared a link to a rather interesting indiegogo campaign for a USB charging cable that claims to be able to charge your device quicker, no matter what it is. The campaign goes by the name of SONICABLE just in case you’re interested.
At first glance the cable looks like a standard USB cable with a fancy designer and a small box in line with the cable. Looks apparently are deceiving as this cable apparently charges your device a lot quicker (it states on the campaign page twice as fast). So now with this cable your charge times will be halved. No more waiting around for two hours to charge your device, it’s now only an hour.
At this point you are probably really eager to learn how this wonder cable works, well actually it’s very simple. Normal USB cables contain 5 lines, these lines are as follows:
- data Rx
- data Tx
- Power +
- Power –
- Earth (Technically not a line as it comprises of a foil coating around the other lines)
The power provides 5V DC which is quite low and is therefore the reason that some devices such as external hard drives require some sort of external power in order to get the thing running. This however is plenty of juice to get a normal phone/tablet/whatever else charging, but for most people it’s just way too long (although this is what happens when we shove extremely high capacity batteries into these devices).
This cable has a little inline switch which when flicked will break the connections on the data Rx and Tx lines. This as I’m sure you are think will remove the ability to connect to your PC and transfer files, although I would still charge. It appears that their idea is that if they cut the data lines the power lines would go quicker. While this is probably true, it would only be the tiniest bit of difference and not twice as fast as the creators claim.
As a bit of a test for this article I charged my Lumia 830 from dead to full using a USB cable provided with the device and it took around 2 hours in order to charge up fully while plugged into my PC. Next set the phone to play a 10 hour loop of some random YouTube video (on mute) in order to drain the battery right down. When it finally gave up I plugged the USB cable into the provided wall charger and left it to work its magic. Still though it took around the two hour mark. With the USB cable plugged into the wall it is the same as flicking the switch on the wonder cable.
Due to my little experiment I’m calling this one out, as yes it would slightly make charging a faster activity, but not to the degree that they are claiming, because if it did then why after all these years are they the first ones to come up with this idea.
Although one part of this cable did sort of make me want one, although it has no relevance to the products unique selling point, it does has a rather unique feature. We all know how hard it is to get a USB device plugged into the USB on the first try, as it usually takes 3 tries to successfully plug it in. This cable however has a reversible USB plug meaning that no matter which way to plug it on it will the first time all the time. But for a cable that costs around $20 with discount from the
campaign page this just isn’t worth it for the couple of seconds it will save me, when I could pick up a high quality cable from a trusted manufacture for about $5-$10 dollars less.
This just shows though that as long as you flash colorful yet meaningless pie charts and pretty concept drawings at people on the internet they will pretty much anything, including a USB cable which main function is a switch which half’s the functionality of the device.
Still interested ? check out the SONICable indiegogo page.
Oh yeah did I also mention they ant $10,000 for this?
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