Last year around the same time, I was in attending a family get together in Jaipur where I realized that I had forgotten to carry my mobile charger with me from Delhi. I asked my folks if they have a Nokia thin pin charger. To my horror nobody had the charger that I needed. People had different phones and though a few people had Nokia chargers, they were not thin pin chargers. I was not connected to the outside world for full 36 hours!!!
One of the most important announcements at Barcelona that got missed in the crowd of other jazzy announcements is introduction of Universal Charger. GSM Association (GSMA) in collaboration with 17 leading mobile operators and manufacturers at the GSM Congress set an ambitious target that by 2012 a universal charging solution (UCS) will be widely available in the market worldwide and will use Micro-USB as the common universal charging interface. The initiative, when it comes on stream, will simplify the charging of mobile phones, which is currently complicated with different manufacturers creating different chargers for the phones they manufacture. It is expected that the chargers would be energy efficient and would help save 50% energy. This initiative will not only simplify our life but also make us good citizens. It will be a green initiative which when aggregated, will lead to huge power savings given that over 4 billion people would have mobile phones in 2012. I would even propose that after 2014, the charger should not be the part of the standard pack. Users can use their old chargers when they replace their handsets (irrespective of the brand that they buy or switch to) or may purchase it separately in case they need a new one.
Another thing that bugs me when I travel to other countries is the different plug points they use. Every time I travel, I need to carry a different plug point adaptor to be able to use my mobile or laptop. I would urge the Governments across the globe to learn from GSMA and introduce universal plug points which are same across the world. Standardization would not only save us from inconvenience but would also lead to a lot of cost saving and a greener planet. There could be other industries as well where standardization could result in high resource savings.