The problem with USB-C is that if you get a bad cable, it could fry your e-reader. Amazon has stopped carrying cables that don’t comply with USB specifications, but there’s a longer-term fix in the works. Ars Technica reports that the USB Implementers Forum is developing an authentication specification for USB Type-C.
The specification would allow USB power adaptors and cables to talk to the devices they’re plugged into, confirming that the devices meet USB-IF specifications and communicating how much voltage they can safely take. It will also help fight USB-carried malware and security breaches by letting organizations set up their PCs only to work with accessories that have specific security certificates installed.
The new specification would be implemented via firmware and software updates. Any cables or other accessories that couldn’t be updated would need to be replaced with new hardware that supports the specification.
It’s still early days yet for USB-C, with relatively few devices using the spec. I hope that by the time it’s wider-spread, and I end up with devices that use it, all these little glitches will be ironed out. But for now, it’s good to know that a fix for potentially damaging cables is in the offing.