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There is still very much a need for wires. We think of wireless everything: Earbuds, headsets, remotes, garage door openers, Wi-Fi. However, we neglect the use cases where wires make sense.

Wires have no need for setup. They are literally plug and play, whereas other wireless devices need to pair and connect before you can play.

One device I keep going back to is my wired headset. Bluetooth has issues unintentionally connecting or disconnecting. You want to answer your phone but it connects to Bluetooth when you pick up, instead of the handset. Or occasionally, it disconnects altogether and the person on the other end of the line thinks you’ve hung up.

A wired connection is also visual. You can see if something is connected or disconnected and it’s easy to intuit the functionality from the wiring.

Some versions of wireless are as reliable as wired. Cell phones today are one example. WiFi is also pretty good (except at many hotels still… remember those — where people stayed when they — what’s the word — tr-ah-veled? ). Bluetooth is not. For Bluetooth and its devices to work just as well as wired, they’d need a few things:

  • Wireless charging at some distance
  • Automatic pairing
  • Connecting when the user actually wants — and the ability to learn when this is and when this isn’t

It might be five more years before we have something reliable. Wireless charging will extend to several centimetres to make conscious charging of devices unnecessary. Pairing will be done by imprinting and devices handshaking, knowing that a new wireless device is yours and not someone else’s, even if it’s being used for the first time. Lastly, devices will sense which one you want to use by situation and learn when corrected, and share what it’s learned with other devices.

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