Wouldn’t it be great if you could borrow a laptop charger from a friend if you forgot yours at home or the office? That’s the future that the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is envisioning with its new proposal, which would create a standard for laptop chargers across all manufacturers.
The IEC is pushing this effort to mandate power supply compatibility across notebook models as a means of reducing e-waste. This proposal follows a similar initiative to implement common smartphone chargers across manufacturers, which was adopted by the European Union in September.
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“A single power supply covering a wide range of notebook computers is the next step in lowering e-waste and its impact on our planet,” IEC General Secretary and CEO Frans Vreeswijk said in a statement.
The organization also says that a universal standard could help prevent users from disposing of their computers once its charger breaks, which is a fairly common situation according to the IEC. The new standard would cover all components of the charger, including both the connector and plug.
Due to technical difficulties, this idea could be a ways away from enjoying widespread adoption, but ITProPortal reports that the IEC could have these chargers ready for distribution in early 2014. Having a common standard that every manufacturer uses might also help prevent recalls for overheating chargers, such as with the HP Chromebook 11.