Wrap That Rascal With A USB Condom - HotHardware
Wrap That Rascal With A USB Condom

Wrap That Rascal With A USB Condom

Yep, a USB condom. That term is mostly a dose of marketing brilliance, which is to say that grabs your attention while also serving as an apt description of the product. A little company called int3.cc has developed a product—a USB condom—that blocks the data pins in your USB device while leaving the power pins free.

Thus, any time you need to plug a device such as a smartphones into a USB port to charge it—let’s say at a public charging kiosk or a coworker’s computer--you don’t have to worry about compromising any data or contracting some nasty malware. It’s one of those simple solutions that seems so obvious once someone came up with it, and surely lots of folks, such as business travelers, students, and anyone in a corporate environment that uses a USB stick in multiple machines, will be glad for it.

USB condom




USB Condoms are currently out of stock, but you should be able to order one as of Monday. It’s not clear how much the devices will cost, but it should be very little, and they’ll likely show up as plain-looking boards without much, if any, packaging nor a chassis.

“If you're going to run around plugging your phone into strange USB ports, at least be safe about it”, says int3.cc. Good advice, that.
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why not market a USB cord with JUST the power pins in it...

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So, you've created the equivilant of a piece of tape over the data pins?

Way to go?

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I'm not sure if this condom is compatible, but some devices use the data pins to communicate how much power is supported. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB#Power

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I wish this device could have a simple microcontroller that faked a line of standard wall warts.

A good example is that some android devices expect either a dead short on the data bus for a 1 amp charge rate or a 0.5 ohm short for a 2 amp charge rate. This is simple to emulate. However iDevices require a special charger data negotiation to charge at a faster than 500mA rate.

This device could have a slider switch for 500ma/1/2A charge rates and detect whats on the other end to negotiate said charge rates.

Most USB ports are perfectly capable of 1 or 2 amp charge rates no matter what the host claims the ports support. Lets face it, charging at 500mA for most devices takes *FOREVER*.

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