USB cables are great. Before them we had many different ports on our computers such as printerbridge and the purple and green PS/2 so that we could connect all of our components. USB allowed us to plug all sorts of devices. One key flaw with the USB cable is that you can never fit it in on the first try. I sometimes find myself trying 3 or 4 times before getting it right even though there are only 2 possible options!
USB 3.1, possibly coming out as early as July, will finally end our frustration by being able to be plugged in either way. The new design is called USB Type-C. The cable can be used interchangeably, so either side can be attached to a Smartphone or computer.
Over the past few years there has been a push for wireless USB to be the new standard, but with USB 3.1 getting speeds of 10 Gbps, people who have a need for speed will stick with the cable. USB Type-C will emit a slight clicking sound when plugged and ready for use. As much as we would like all of the next generation devices to support USB 3.1, we expect that it will take some time before there is a complete transition.
And for some fun courtesy of SMBC Comics: