Joined-up thinking

morgan-stanley-75-billion-devices-will-be-connected-to-the-internet-of-things-by-2020 Yesterday, a person in our household could not find his laptop charger.  An hour of searching, under bedclothes,  in bags, under piles of newspapers, led us to conclude that the charger must be somewhere in the house, but where?  This charger is unique to this laptop and no other charger would be any use.  A rapid inventory of the number of chargers in the house ensued: 3 laptop chargers (each one different); 5 or 6 mobile phone chargers + 2 or 3 tablet and player connectors of various types, not to mention chargers for digital cameras and other devices.   Maybe 24 in all?  Could this be? In a house of just three people who all pride themselves on trading in and removing old devices? Not one charger is compatible with another device.  It is as though we were living in Britain during the early days of the industrial revolution before bolts, nuts, cogs and gears were standardized, when each factory and mill made its own idiosyncratic machinery.

When you lose or mislay a charger, you have to go out and buy a new one.  Then you need two, because it’s useful to have one at work and one at home.  Manufacturers of technological devices have a vested interest in this happening because production and sales of chargers would decrease significantly if any charger could connect to any device. But here’s a thought for today: would it not make sense for chargers to connect to devices in a standardized way?

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