When the mobile phone industry decided to sign a voluntary agreement to use the micro-USB interface for charging and transferring data we all cheered. A universal standard for mobile phone chargers isn’t just good for us, it’s absolutely wonderful for the environment. There are practical obstacles though, such as the inability of the USB port to supply enough current.
More and more motherboard and PC makers have launched products with power USB ports, by optimizing the current outputs. This may seem add at first, but try charging a phone with regular output and then try a power USB port and you will see why this is necessary.
With limited power coming through the USB interface it becomes a prolonged and near painful process, but finally the USB Implementors Forum have decided to tackle the problem is working on providing more power with future USB standards.
It’s not just about powering smaller devices like external harddrives or charging mobile phones. USB IF hopes to charge notebooks and other USB enhanced devices, without having a USB host device for power. All USB devices connected to an outlet will be able to power other devices. We can only hope that it finds a commercially acceptable solution as soon as possible.