Originally Posted by mstone
The problem with any new i/o protocol is how do you connect to all of the legacy equipment you already own? If I buy a new Mac I don't want to buy all new peripherals or a slew of little dongle adapters all over the place.
USB is still going to be useful for some time in my opinion. It is good for all low power, low bandwidth applications.
Ethernet is just too ubiquitous and inexpensive to be made obsolete by Light Peak.
Seems like a good alternative to HDMI though which is not that common on computers yet anyway and maybe Firewire since that protocol is becoming less popular. As we move toward SSD it might also be suitable as a bus for moving data between storage and memory. And as mentioned, the mobile device syncing seems likely, but I can't really agree with the notion that it will replace everything.
When Apple dropped legacy i/o port support in favor of USB on the iMac, it didn't take very long for a great many peripherals to become available. There was some short term confusion and inconvenience (I remember a brief outcry that the iMac "couldn't use a printer" because it had no serial port).
Of course, that was an industry wide transition that had Intel putting their full weight behind USB, introduced into a market that really needed it. Whether or not Light Peak would follow a similar path or not is hard to say, but it wouldn't be unprecedented.
I could see the tech being initially introduced a couple of ways: First, as a docking solution for notebooks, requiring a single slender cable from a multi-port breakout box. Using a single port for multiple devices is always going to require some kind of a breakout box (or, as Dr. Millmoss suggests, a splitter) anyway, and multiple cables from multiple ports are no more elegant or compact, so such a set-up wouldn't really be a big kludge compared to what people are doing now. Of course, even better would be an array of devices that use the Light Peak standard and either a hub or a daisy chain (can't remember, has anything referenced whether or not this spec daisy chains?), but either way you still have to get discreet cables from the computer to discreet devices, at some point, no matter how capable your interconnect.
Secondly I could really see this as a great phone/palmtop docking solution. Basically the same deal as a laptop dock, but bringing vastly more functionality to your iPhone/Touch. With the rapid improvements in hardware, it surely won't be very long before your "phone" could serve as the the brains of a perfectly capable desktop/mobile system, as long as you had easy access to full sized peripherals-- keyboard, monitor and storage and power.
Basically, it sounds as if Light Peak could enable an über-dock that would make your iPhone/Touch an actual laptop/desktop replacement.