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  • Fans Charged Up About USB Power Outlet

    It's a simple concept, but one that's left an indelible impression on people coming out of this year's Macworld. Catering to the vast audience of mobile savvy consumers who always have some gadget or gizmo to charge or power up, Fastmac has unveiled its U-Socket with hopes of it becoming just as ubiquitous as the devices that could use it.

    Perfect for charging any USB powered device including- mobile, iPod, iPhone, PDA, MP3, PSP, MP4 player & digital camera.
    Capable of being installed on any existing wall outlet, the U-Socket is one of those no-brainer "I wish I would have thought of this" kind of devices that, if Fastmac proves fortunate, could turn up in homes, hotels, offices, and virtually any building with electricity in the world.

    How is the U-Socket different, let's say, from a do-it-yourself homemade USB wall socket? For starters, it's safer. Billed as the first such product that meets universal electrical safety specs, the U-Socket is almost difficult to distinguish from a regular run-of-the-mill wall socket. But in addition to offering your obligatory three-prong power plugs, the U-Socket also sports two powered USB outlets on each corresponding side.

    And in case you're wondering, the outlet is designed to be conservation-minded and environmentally friendly. According to the manufacturer, these USB ports only draw power when a device is connected to the port.

    We didn't want a vampire port that continually sucks and wastes power.
    One of the breakout showings from Macworld, the U-Socket is currently promoted on Fastmac's website at a discounted pre-order price of $19.95. If all goes as planned, expect the device to begin shipping later this spring.

    Will it catch on?
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Fans Charged Up About USB Power Outlet started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 52 Comments
    1. Fodd1337's Avatar
      Fodd1337 -
      Quote Originally Posted by rhekt View Post
      wow this is awesome. i can see this becoming the standard in outlets within 5-10 years

      ^its a sad sad story
      Easily! Every outlet in my house could use one of these!
    1. Effenpig!'s Avatar
      Effenpig! -
      Hmmm. I woder if they meet the upcoming code change requiring tamper proof receptacles though. New code will require a mechanical device to prevent the insertion of foreign objects into the receptacle. Yet another " improvement" pushed through the nec by manufacturers to make an extra buck ( like arc fault breakers, which cost $40 apiece versus a standard $5 single pole breaker)
    1. isham.padron's Avatar
      isham.padron -
      I wanna see these at home depot! I have to update all of my wall sockets might as well go all the way.
    1. catriple's Avatar
      catriple -
      I just pre-ordered two. Thank god, finally, no wall adapters needed!
    1. eballesq's Avatar
      eballesq -
      Just pre-ordered two of these bad boys...fantastic idea!
    1. LSZ33's Avatar
      LSZ33 -
      I think it's a good idea and would eliminate the wall adapter or old apple brick, but think it'll be a liability in homes with children. I can't see airports & hotels adopting these for the sake of lawsuits. Kids can see an even bigger whole (USB) and stick things into them.
    1. Shashlike's Avatar
      Shashlike -
      Brilliant! Can't wait for Euroversions to come out! Definitely buy 3 for my apartment!
    1. yamman's Avatar
      yamman -
      awesome idea!! def gonna buy one. best thing since sliced bread! =]
    1. eremeya's Avatar
      eremeya -
      I saw this on Engadget ($10 USB power outlet leaves no plug behind -- Engadget) a couple months ago but then it was only $10
    1. Schadde's Avatar
      Schadde -
      I like the idea of it. I don't like the design.

      Since that's a unique design based on the Decora faceplate, they would have to ship the whole thing out as a package. If someone ever wanted to change the faceplate of the outlet to something fancier, they'd have no choice but to go with whatever the company provides, or do a hack-job on whatever they think looks nice.

      I'd rather see those USB ports stuffed further in (if that's possible from a functionalty standpoint), keeping the same lines as the Decora plates, that way there wouldn't be so many products doing the same thing... unless that's part of their evil plan, of course.
    1. jcarroll's Avatar
      jcarroll -
      Definitely their evil plan.

      Where's the surge-protected version?
    1. Effenpig!'s Avatar
      Effenpig! -
      What would make the most sense would be to have a decora style unit that was a single receptacle with two of the USB ports where the other plug would normally go. Also should offer it as a unit that is just USB. No receptacle. You could put it in a two gang box next to a receptacle and use a standard two gang plate