If you've ever wished your smartphone or tablet could charge faster when connected via a computer or the car, then wish no more. For the right pledge, you can get your hands on the DouBBleTime, a USB charging cable that promises to do just that.
It may sound like a gimmick or a wild promise, but Minsoo and Emily Seo, the duo behind the product, has some technical proof for it. Regular USB cables, at least those adhering to past and current USB standards, are mostly there for data transfer primarily. Charging your device is actually just a by product of the fact that USB also provides electricity to keep the peripheral powered up, like in the case of flash drives or portable hard drives. However, this dual nature is also the reason why such cables don't let electricity flow to the maximum capacity, unlike when the cable is connected to a power outlet.
The trick to DouBBleTime is a rather simple chip and switch near the micro USB port, or Lightning if you go with an Apple device, that practically tells the computer that the device isn't interested in syncing data, forcing the computer to give out maximum power output that it can. Don't worry though as the chip also contains an over current protection and short circuit protection to keep your device and the computer from frying. The effect that instead of a two way street of data and power, you get a one way lane that is all taken up by electricity. The result is double the power and half the charging time.
Sounds good, right? The catch is that it isn't a retail product, at least not yet. You can find it on Kickstarter for now, though it's nearing the end of its campaign and has already earned three times its asking price. Since all the early bird offers are gone, you can start at $20, which would get you one cable. $35 would get you two and $65 will deliver four. You can choose between an Android-friendly microUSB connector or a Lightning one, but color is limited to white.