August 2011 Anthony Garland
Today comes news that the USB-IF has just added to two addendums to the USB 3.0 specification. These two additions are On-the-Go (OTG) 3.0 and Embedded Host supplement. On-the-Go 3.0 is of course an upgrade to On-the-Go 2.0 and is backwards compatible with past versions. The Embedded Host supplement adds details on how smart appliances like tablets, phones and even cameras will be able to use a single USB 3.0 port as either a host or peripheral.
What all this means for consumers – and the reason this is such exciting news – is that today’s announcement from the USB-IF bodes well for USB 3.0 and embedded devices. By updating and adding this supplement to the USB 3.0 standard, we may actually see tablets, phones and other smart devices be enabled not only with USB 3.0, but actually not need a computer to talk to another USB 3.0 device. This will certainly make it easier for device makers to take the plunge and make their new products USB 3.0 enabled – something that has been sorely lacking from the market. We don’t expect this bombshell to change the smart appliance landscape overnight, but it certainly should change it in the future. The sooner USB 3.0 becomes the de-facto standard, the sooner it becomes cheaper to implement and thus affordable for consumers to own.