While we often don’t discuss startups, at CES we found a company called Keyssa that claims to have the technology to do away with wired connectors entirely. Normally, these claims are rather misleading, but in the case of Keyssa it seems that this is quite possible as the company was formed as a spin-off from research at UCLA labs. Similar to 802.11ad, Keyssa uses the 60 GHz spectrum to deliver immense amounts of bandwidth (6 Gbps), but at much lower power levels. This lower power level does constrain the range of this technology to a few centimeters or so, similar to NFC.

In addition to the immense bandwidth, Keyssa’s connectors are relatively small and are around a millimeter thick, with a length and width similar to a microUSB 3.0 connector. It seems that this technology takes advantage of USB-IF’s media-agnostic USB standard, as in a demonstration of a prototype SSD with Keyssa’s connector the SSD appeared to be a USB drive on to a laptop with a pad for the SSD. Company representatives stated that there will be products shipping with this connector this year, and it should be interesting to see how this affects mobile devices if this technology gains traction.

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  • araczynski - Friday, January 9, 2015 - link

    Nice, and just when poor old Apple was getting ready to start implementing yet another new connector model (for its usb3 on thinner macbook airs). would make for a nice mechanism for fast backups: plop an external drive on/by your computer case, let some autodetect start a routine backup, then just pick it up and take it offsite without having to mess with connectors/cables/power/etc.
  • SunLord - Friday, January 9, 2015 - link

    The Type-C usb connector is the best thing to happen to USB since it was invented and it will hopefully replace all of the other usb connectors in the near future
  • stephenbrooks - Saturday, January 10, 2015 - link

    Sometimes it's not practical to have your devices a few cm apart. For those cabled cases, USB type-C looks promising as a general purpose connector.
  • 50bmg - Friday, January 9, 2015 - link

    how does this tech compare to snap from silicon image (the guys that do MHL and HDMI)
  • Mikemk - Saturday, January 10, 2015 - link

    With a range of only a few centimeters, I fail to see how this is useful for data transfer. It seems a lot more convenient having devices out of the way as I type/move the mouse.
  • Chris9594 - Saturday, January 10, 2015 - link

    Definitely cool...but do we really need another connector.

    Did anyone catch the USB 3.0 network switch offered by develLAB Electronics? It seems they were an Innovation Award winner and use standard ports available today.
  • zodiacfml - Saturday, January 10, 2015 - link

    umm, just how do you power this? i reckon it would still need a power connector or a battery, pretty cumbersome.
  • Alex75 - Saturday, January 10, 2015 - link

    I'd imagine the best way for technology such as this to be easily integrated into existing laptops would be through collaboration with a touchpad manufacturer such as Synaptics. A double tap in one of the corners of the touchpad (like some of the HP laptops for enable/disable) could activate the pad for transfers. Tech like this needs to be implemented into some major brands for it to take off.

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