USB – Charging Ahead


To be connected 24/7 is now a given, it almost seems to be regarded as a human right.­­ The developing modern paranoia of being without one device or another and losing that world-wide connectivity like other habit forming dependencies may end up one day in the psychiatrist’s chair. Or is that all so much overblown Luddite clap chat?

Originally known as Nomophobia (no-mobile-phone-phobia) the problem, if a problem indeed, is the result of the constant flow of new technologies that paradoxically can be both liberating and enslaving.

A recent survey reported that 77% of teenagers, currently known as Millennials, had anxiety and worries with the prospect of being without their mobile phones.

This anxiety is displayed in the fact that most people currently do not travel even overnight without the ability to re-charge their devices. This then presents challenges to the leisure and travel market for hoteliers, airports, trains and many others to provide device charging points in their establishments or in their travel spaces.

The current charging point of choice of course utilises the ubiquitous USB (Universal Serial Bus) connector. UK manufacturers such as RPP, part of the Installations Materials Division, have charging products available in multiple guises ranging from the simple double USB in the conventional dual socket outlet to modular versions where they can be used in desk top units in combination with other power, voice and data products. In the case of the socket outlets it can be as simple as removing an existing socket from the wall box and replacing with one that has the two USB outlets included. Technically this product allows four devices to be charged at once: two via the 13 amp outlets and two via the USB’s. This product presents a quick and easy solution to hotels, guest houses, airport lounges and provides a destination for the weary traveller wandering about with a USB lead in hand desperately seeking their life support connection!

The educational sector is another area where the USB charger has increasing demand. Not just the halls of residence and communal areas for students but integrated into school furniture for all ages where the USB stand-alone module can be used to customise exact user requirements. The latest chargers have DDR (Dynamic Device Recognition) which are able to detect what make of device is being used, what amount of charge is required and to deliver the correct amount of charge to each device.

How long will the USB charging market last with the advances in battery technology no one really knows. One thing is for sure, businesses and the service sector alike will need to provide a solution to the increasing demand for charging points in the short to medium term.

To fail to do so will undoubtedly impact on their businesses or service provision and such failures will not go unnoticed, whether you are a Millennial or so last Century!