We’ve all used wireless devices – maybe a wireless keyboard or mouse, maybe a wireless network in the home or office, maybe a Bluetooth headset. It’s all wonderful technology but almost everyone discovers that it’s just not quite troublefree – life becomes a blur of power-cycling devices and changing batteries and restarting computers and occasionally light cursing.

There’s an obvious allure to the idea of wireless USB devices, which will begin hitting the market soon. The idea of taking pictures off a camera or filling up an iPod simply by walking in the room is pretty powerful. Printers could be placed in more convenient locations, phones could sync up their address books without looking for a misplaced cable, and it could ultimately lead to a redesign of living room multimedia and high-definition televisions.

Wireless USB has been slowed by a battle between developers about the industry standards – a familiar story – and the initial implementations sound ugly, requiring a dongle on the computer for each device. (Picture the little whatchamacallit that sits on your desk talking to your wireless mouse or keyboard.) If the technology pans out and support is built more deeply into our computers, it may become more elegant over time.

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