Indiegogo and other such crowdfunding websites are home to a large number of ambitious projects, hoping to pique consumer-investor curiosity and turn dreams into entrepreneurial ventures. Not all such projects are feasible, nor all such projects funded. But some projects do stand out of the crowd.
Overlooking the cringeworthy YouTube ad, MicFlip is a rather interesting take on the first world problem of plugging in the cable the wrong way.
As the Indiegogo project page
states, MicFlip is the world’s first fully reversible USB-A to Micro-USB cable. Featuring “an ultra-strong braided nylon lead, a robust aluminum shell and gold-plated plugs to prevent corrosion”, the MicFlip tries to improve upon traditional cables by giving us what we need: reversibility on existing products.
So far, all the Android smartphone flagships that have been released, have come along with the familiar micro USB port. On the other end of the spectrum (or cable, as you may), USB Type A ports have been the de-facto way of how “host” devices have communicated with smartphones and other accessories. Such is their ubiquity, that there is a good chance that you, as a reader on XDA Developers, may be in possession of at least two USB (A) to Micro USB cables.
The annoying part of both USB Type A as well as micro USB is that both have a fixed orientation of the port, in the sense that you can not mindlessly plug in a cable and have it fit correctly, without any damage. MicFlip aims to fix this, as it allows reversibility on both ends of the cable.
The Indiegogo project page does not detail the exact mechanism of how this is achieved. However, taking a guess from one of the product images, this reversibility may have been achieved by thinning the plastic tongue inside the plug and allowing the electrical contacts to be present on either side of the tongue. The tongue may operate on a hinge-like mechanism, thereby allowing “reversibility” in connecting the plug into the usb receptacles.
As a plus point, the MicFlip also uses braided nylon for the cable, giving extra durability to the cable. Not a standing point in its entirety, but such durability would be a decent addition to a product that aims to provide convenience.
Granted, USB Type C is just round the corner, featuring reversible plug connectors. Even the new OnePlus Two will come with USB Type C. However, the fact is, wide scale adoption of USB Type C is still quite some time away. In the meanwhile, MicFlip aims to serve your needs.
The project has already raised 528% ($31,698) of its $6,000 funding goal within 5 days, so there is no doubt that the MicFlip is indeed a product needed by many. Shipping is expected to start in August, with the official deadline being September 1st, 2015. The product will retail for $20 after its campaign, but you can early bird pre-order one for $15 now.
MicFlip as a product is an innovative way to tackle a problem which was one of the reasons that eventually led to the development of USB Type C. It makes the tinfoil hat totting conspiracy theorists in us to think of USB Type C as a way of achieving planned obsolescence in today’s money oriented world.