A proposed universal charger that would juice up any computer from any manufacturer is one the cards for 2014. The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has published technical specification for a universal laptop charger which would work like the standard micro-USB connection for smartphones.

According to the IEC, the effort to have a new universal laptop charger standard is made in order to reduce the e-waste related to chargers. Maybe you never thought about this, but an estimated half a million tons per year of e-waste is caused by chargers themselves. To give you  a better example, this is the equivalent of 500,000 cars. A universal standard will prevent laptops and their chargers from being disposed. The new technical specifications published by the IEC covers all parts of the charger, like the connector and plug. Safety, interoperability, performance and environmental considerations have also been taken care of by the IEC.

laptop-charger-universal-standardThe IEC general secretary and CEO, Frans Vreeswijk, said the following:

The IEC International Standards for the universal charger for mobile phones has been widely adopted by the mobile phone industry and is already starting to help reduce e-waste.  A single power supply covering a wide range of notebook computers is the next step in lowering e-waste and its impact on our planet. I am proud that the IEC has yet again managed to make the best possible technical solution available

A universal laptop charger would help reduce e-waste

A similar scenario has happened with phones, as the majority of OEMs have signed an agreement in 2009 to make standard the micro-USB charging solutions. Smartphones are the ones that have benefited from this technology most of all, as now you can use almost anyone’s charger. Also, what’s pretty important is that you don’t need to buy a new charger, if your old one is still working. But it can happen that your charger will overheat, so, eventually, you will be able to replace it with an older one.

Of course, Apple had to be different and that’s why they have come up with the Lightning connector. Sure, data is transferred faster, but the cables are also more expensive. And, when it comes to laptops, if we will really see a new standard in 2014, then, most likely, Apple won’t jump on board.

Wireless charging is a new technology that is slowly making its way into smartphones and tablets, and we have to wonder whether or not laptops and netbooks will also benefit from it. A world without millions of plugs, wires and cords will be a greener one, and will also make our daily activities easier.

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