LaCie flat cables

Today I spotted a something clever. Like the flat lightbulbs, LaCie‘s new flat cables capitalise on an obviously, but somehow-overlooked, notion of industrial design: flatness.

These colour-coded computer cables are designed to create order, by folding otherwise chaotic cords into one another on their commute to the back of the computer. The colours determine the different interfaces: USB, Firewire, and eSATA.

A good idea, but ultimately a gimmick. It doesn’t solve the problem of computer cables, only makes it prettier. If we are ever going to solve these problems we’ll need devices that communicate wirelessly, like Bluetooth mice, or perhaps smarter devices that can carry signals for multiple formats, the way that some monitors have USB and Firewire on-board.

There’s also the executional problem that even if I purchased a full compliment of these flat cables, most of my devices are still hard-wired with their own [round] cables. With the exception of printers, scanners, and external drives, most devices don’t give you a choice of what cable to use — you’re stuck with the one they give you, whether it’s too long, too short, ugly, or just bad. And of course it will be round.

But until our computers are totally wireless, maybe a trend will start. Maybe round wires will go the way of the Laser Disc.

spotted on Core77 »