Clever USB Connection Solutions and Tips

Clever USB Connection Solutions and Tips

Chris Perez
Feb 24, 2012

Are you frustrated with your standard USB connector? Do you always manage to find the wrong way to insert the connector in your device? Run through several iterations of plug attempt, flip, another plug attempt, and another before you finally get the darn thing connected properly? Read through for some clever USB design ideas that we hope find their way to our home very soon. Plus a tip on how you can be more accurate with your own plug attempts in the meantime.

We have a love / hate relationship with the USB. Love how U-niversal and U-biquitous it is, Hate how the connector Seriously Bugs when we're trying to hook things up. If you share our frustration, then we're here to tell you that perhaps there is hope.

Take for instance this polarized USB concept from Lim Jae Min that looks so much more convenient to us.

This Double USB concept is pretty killer too. Which has, as its name implies, two contacts so that every side is the right side.

Reading these concepts made us realize something perhaps not so obvious with our current USB connectors. If you pay attention to the USB logo printed on the cable, in most cases the correct orientation will be with the logo facing up — staring you in the face. It'd be nice to say, "just hook USB's face up." However, memory sticks usually don't have USB logos imprinted on them, so the rule wouldn't apply. There is one thing all USB connectors do have in common though. Look closely on the metal tip and you'll notice that there is a seam on one side of the connector. This seam denotes the contact side of the USB.

In horizontal oriented USB ports the seam should face down. In vertical oriented USB ports the seam should face left. If you follow those rules, you'll get your USB plugged in the right way, the first time, most of the time. Hopefully that'll help save you some frustration until one of these concepts gets the green light.

Any fun mnemonics you can come up with to remember that the USB seam should face down or left?

All we could think of is "Seams Away, Merrill. Seams Away"

Images: Chris Perez

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