Here it is, 2015, and we're still waiting for reversible USB. Although Type-C connectors promise to stop the one-way-only madness, the ports themselves have yet to arrive in any meaningful way -- and even those don't address an equally vexing plug problem: the other end.
Specifically, you know that Micro-USB connector that goes into your smartphone, tablet, e-reader, Bluetooth headset and pretty much every other non-Apple device known to man? Figuring out which end goes up is enough to drive a person to Lightning. Apple's flawed-but-at-least-reversible port solved this issue years ago.
Enter MicFlip (pronounced "Mike-flip"), which claims to be the world's first reversible Micro-USB cable. And it's reversible at both ends, not just the USB Type-A side.
Update: Several hours after this post went live, I was informed by the developer that the initial product will not have a reversible Type-A connector, but rather a traditional one: "The reversible Type-A (standard USB plug) is still under development and it's going to take us a while to make it happen." I am awaiting clarification on what compensation, if any, will be offered to early backers who were promised two reversible ends, not just one.
Update No. 2: According to a rep, Winnergear will provide a refund to anyone who asks.
Although a Micro-USB port has a slightly trapezoidal shape that would seem to preclude a reversible connector, developer Winnergear says they've cracked it. What's more, the MicFlip cable features gold-plated plugs, a braided nylon cable and aluminum connector housings.
That's no doubt to help justify the expected $20 retail price, considerably higher than that of the average Micro-USB cable. This one, thankfully, promises to be compatible with all Micro-USB devices.
For now, the MicFlip exists as a fully funded Indiegogo campaign, with early-backer options still available at the $15 level -- a price that includes worldwide shipping. (The $10 option is sold out.) Estimated delivery is September, and the campaign page suggests the developers are actually ready to start shipping as soon as August. In fact, now that it's fully funded, Winnergear is "not waiting for the campaign to end," but rather starting production immediately.
What do you think? Would you pay $20 for a cable that solves Micro-USB's biggest hassle? Given that Apple charges $30 for a branded Lightning cable and even third-party certified Lightning cables are around half that price, this doesn't seem too out of whack.
Oh, if you do nothing else, watch the campaign's promo video. It's slightly NSFW, but admirably amusing.