I hate cables! (but here’s the solution, maybe)

Steven | Random Thoughts | Thursday, 28 August 2008

I’m sure you all do! I can’t believe in this day and age nobody comes up with a solution for this, so I invented something conceptual myself.

Main idea: replace the physical cable with a radio signal like bluetooth, ending up with just the 2 endings. 2 little dongles so to say, that you just need to plug in the holes meant to (or other holes if you like, minorissues not responsible for .. bla bla).


So, that’s it in a short non technical way. I hope someone will pick this up and make this.

In a more technical way, we’re combining 2 technologies here: USB and Bluetooth. At this point there’s a discrepancy between the bandwidth of both. USB 2 has a rate of 480 Mbit/s meaning it can transfer about 60 megabytes per second. The most recent Bluetooth implementation has a transmission speed of only (up to) 2.1 Mbit/s which is pretty slow. Although transfer rate isn’t the only criteria (not all cable use requires a high transfer rate) it seems not enough to make this a successful product.

There are 2 things however to bypass this. The first is the next Bluetooth standard, Bluetooth 3.0, which will use ultra-wideband radio technology with a probable transfer rate up to 480 Mbit/s, yes, exactly the same as USB 2.
The other requires some more engineering (or an other standard I’m not aware of). Bluetooth is a standard protocol developed for multiple uses, so I’m sure if you tweak something for data transfer, this can be boosted immensely. Also, standard Bluetooth will cover about 10 meters, I can imagine if you get this number down, you can increase speed as well.

2 other things to take into account as well: power and security. Bluetooth is radio waves so it needs a power supply. On the side of the computer there’s no problem, the computer has power! On the other side however .. there’s probably none. On the contrary, it’s most likely the case that other side (a device) want’s power from the cable. So how do we sole that? In my mind the dongle should contain some kind of battery that’s ideally charged by the computer. So if you stick it in the USB port it start charging itself. If you don’t use your "cable" you can keep the dongles in your USB ports so they’ll charge. If you do use it, you need to switch from time to time. That’s perhaps a pity, but it is what it is and I believe this set-up might be used in a temporary case anyway: if you need a structural set-up you probably prefer a cable anyway.
About security: the dongles come in pairs, and a certain dongle can only transfer data from/to a paired one. I think there’s enough encryption techniques out there to make this possible.

So, this is how I think about this. But I’m no engineer, so not completely sure if it makes sense. How do you guys think about this?
If it does make sense, please, someone, help me out of my misery and produce this :)
I’m sure lot’s of people want this as well and you can make a lot of money out of it!