A standardised charger is likely to hit the European market by 2017
The fit-all formula
Most of our homes are cluttered with all the different chargers required by our smartphones, tablets, laptops and digital cameras. Matters are made worse when travelling and require most of us to take a series of different chargers to keep our lives running. Such items have become the single most common object left behind in hotels by guests, with the consequence that smartphone batteries regularly run out of power a long way from home.
But these woes might soon be a thing of the past. Earlier this week, the European Parliament voted in favour of draft legislation for all mobile phones in the European Union to be compatible with a single kind of charger. Member states will have until 2016 to pass laws to comply and after that manufacturers will have 12 months to switch to the new design.
Once implemented, the regulation will also help the environment and will, eventually, significantly reduce the estimated 51,000 tonnes of e-waste (or technology junk) a year that finds its way into the waste system worldwide.
But why stop at smartphones? Surely all of us would be much happier carrying a single charger that works with all our electronic devices.