USB, the new power adapter?

USBWith the growth of portable devices it seems most of the stuff we carry has a USB connector.  With that has come an increase in USB ports on trains and planes.  While my iPhones were plugged into the plane or train seats I wondered if the USB was slowly becoming the new universal power adapter?

I remember on my first trip the biggest issue was plugging in my travel hair dryer.  It was easily solved by flipping a switch to adjust the power voltage and using a plug adapter.  But now it’s more complicated.  People travel with laptops, phones, ereader, tablets, and digital cameras.  The problem is how do you charge all of these things if you only have one plug converter?

Most of these devices have USB plugs so you can either plug into a USB port or use the provided plug. New hotels are being built with lots of outlets and USB ports, making it easier.  As USB ports become more common (I did have them in one of my Australia hostels) I’m wondering if the USB port will become the new plug?  I don’t think refrigerators or stoves are changing.  But how about laptops and travel hairdryers?  How far is the USB from being able to run a laptop?  And how much will it cost for older hotels and hostels to upgrade their systems to have outlets and USB ports?

I’m sure someone with more knowledge of electric systems has the answer, but it’s fun to speculate one a little piece of how the world might change in the next 5 or 10 years.

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