Sometimes ideas come along, so innovative and simple they must be mentioned, and while this particular innovation isn’t going to set the tech world on fire, nor make its founders billions, it will reduce frustration and increase convenience for many users.
The SnapPower charger enables the integration of USB charging into existing wall sockets. Rather than stumbling around the house trying to find that charger you left…somewhere, simply plug your fitness tracker, phone, tablet or whatever straight into the wall. The beauty of the device, is in its simplicity – it doesn’t require any wiring. This means that USB charging is now available in any home, not just new builds.
The SnapPower utilises prongs that touch the metal screws within the existing outlet and use them as a source of power. The trade-off is it’s not incredibly powerful, only generating 1A of charge – enough for your phone or watch, but if your tablet is flat you may be waiting a long time. There is another version in the works at the moment which will increase available power and will be targeted at more demanding users. As evidence that the product was built by genuine users, the USB port has been placed below the power outlets to reduce tangles.
Installation is simple. Turn off the power to your home, remove your existing outlet cover, replace it with the SnapPower and plug in your phone. while the charger is currently relatively expensive at around $20, this kind of simple technology is likely to find its way into homes quickly as other suppliers come on the market, especially as wire-free recharging options become more readily available.
Regardless, innovations such as these that may not be glamorous or even particularly high tech are vital to ensuring the technology that enhances our lives is being supported by an infrastructure both at home and at work that means ensures these conveniences aren’t inhibited. Ironically, as we move away from hardware – Samsung is one organisation that has just patented projection technology – our dependence on power will likely increase. As with cloud-based infrastructure, physical hardware will be required to maintain virtual connectivity and technology. Therefore there will be an additional requirement for organisations to focus on the basics of ensuring simple connectivity is available for users everywhere.