Smartphones, tablets and gadgets, oh my! Wall warts suck all the space out of our electric outlets. If only every outlet also came with a separate USB port. Oh wait...they all can. The SnapPower Charger coverplate on Kickstarter wants to transform all your outlets into USB charging stations.
USB wall outlets have been done before. Take the U-Socket for example, a device that replaces a standard receptacle and wall plate. What makes the SnapPower so appealing is that it requires no wiring work. You remove the old wall plate and snap the new one into place. You don't have to fiddle with any wires. The USB port sits at the bottom of the coverplate and draws power from the screws inside the outlet.
The coverplate offers 1-amp charging, which may mean larger electronics like tablets take longer to charge. Backers are hoping SnapPower will up the ante and perhaps go with a 2.1-amp charger as a stretch goal. SnapPower has considered the possibility, but currently has no plans to offer the upgrade.
SnapPower is available for either duplex or decor-style outlets and comes in three colors: white, light almond and ivory. Early-bird pledge prices start at $12 for a single coverplate.
The clever coverplate comes from the same creator who successfully launched theon Kickstarter in 2014. The Guidelight has the same easy installation process as the SnapPower and includes a downward-facing LED light at the bottom of the coverplate.
SnapPower launched this morning and was fully funded in an hour, which is a testament to the appeal of this sort of product. It has already raised more than $200,000, rocketing past its $35,000 goal. We all have tons of USB cables and associated wall warts hanging around. The idea of simplifying the gadget-charging process is a tempting one.