A new inCharge cable hit the market today, and it promises to let you add juice to almost any kind of mobile device that you can throw at it. Users first got a chance to take a look at the original generation of inCharge gadget back in 2014, which was essentially a retractable wire attached to a cylinder.
This little tool allowed smartphone owners to keep a tiny emergency charging cable right in their pockets. The new version keeps things current by packing a Lightning connector, which should make it perfect for those who are trying to charge their Apple products on the run.
New inCharge keyring cables also come with microUSB ports, making it one of the few options that will give you the freedom to charge both Apple and Android phones with the same adapter. If you need to charge any of your other tech gadgets, then you can also clip on an adatper for USB-C jacks.
Some in the media have called it the most versatile charging cord because it combines all of these technologies into a single dongle.
The original inCharge cable came in separate Lightning and microUSB models. Separating cords by the particular style of jack they’re designed to fit has been an industry practice since before the USB adapter even got released. When the first USB-equipped computers came on the market, things changed rapidly since it was suddenly possible to use a single bus to connect all types of peripherals.
In our increasingly mobile world, a cord like this could have the same influence. Rather than carrying several different cables that all essentially attach to the same type of charger, you might just be able to carry one that hooks to every phone and tablet you have.
Perhaps the most important feature of the new cable is the fact that it’s priced to move. The all-in-one cable only costs around $7 at the time of this writing, and you can get a dual version that offers just microUSB and Lightning jacks for slightly less.
Nevertheless, it’s important to note that since the new device is essentially a crowdfunded engineering project there’s a risk that it might never ship. Since the company has raised over five times more than the original goal that shouldn’t be too much of an issue, however.