One time I went on a trip with my notebook only to realize that I had somehow forgot to pack my charger. No one that went with me had a charger that would work with my notebook meaning I could only use it one day before it was dead. If notebook chargers were universal I could have used anyone's charger to top off my machine. The IEC, which is an international standards organization, has published a new technical specification that could make instances like mine a thing of the past.
The IEC has published a technical specification for a universal notebook charger. The goal of the program is to help reduce e-waste. The IEC says that the total poundage of e-waste generated each year by chargers for all sorts of devices is over half a million tons.
The new specification calls or conformity on critical aspects of computer chargers such as the plug and connector to make them interoperable with other computers. As it is now, most computers have proprietary chargers so if you lose or break yours, you have to buy a new one from the PC maker.
The IEC wrote, "The new IEC Technical Specification opens the way to a significant and very real reduction of e-waste related to power supplies and will allow consumers to use a single external charger with a wide range of notebook computers. This will also make it much easier for external chargers to be reused or replaced when needed. IEC work ensures that the charger is reliable and safe to use, and that it provides the required level of performance."