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Zap ugliness: Hide those power outlets with Inlet covers

Your household outlets refuse to evolve. Here's one Kickstarter idea that could make them safer and easier on the eyes.

Inlet is a three-plug outlet cover with a customizable faceplate. Kickstarter

Isn't it strange that we still use household power outlets that were popularized about a century ago? How much longer do we have to put up with this antiquated, multi-prong mess of spaghetti wires?

Well, 120-volt AC power outlets aren't going away anytime soon, but here's an idea that can make them less ugly -- and less dangerous for young children.

Inlet by LivingPlug is a sleek, customizable cover for the standard duplex electrical outlet. It's part of a $25,000 Kickstarter campaign that winds up next week.

In addition to three safety outlets on its side, it has a USB charging dock and a kill switch that shuts off Inlet completely. That can prevent appliances sucking on the grid when they're off.

Children won't be able to accidentally shock themselves by inserting metal objects into outlets; the Inlet plate is tamper-proof and can be screwed into the socket so it's secure.

But the device's biggest selling point is it can make your household plugs a little nicer to look at. With custom designed, photo faceplates and materials such as solid walnut, they could transform the outlet into something less utilitarian and more artistic.

"We are going off the same alternate current standard Nikola Tesla developed well over 100 years ago and the entire infrastructure in the U.S. is still based on this," LivingPlug co-founder Samuel Leichman tells CNET.

"There will be an evolution, but not in the immediate future--we see LivingPlug as a bridge to solve some the four main issues, today: aesthetics, child safety, energy efficiency, and overall utility. When a broader evolution does happen, we will continue our pursuit to be a consumer friendly design hardware product company that can serve energy delivery needs for the next 150+ years."

Check out the Inlet promo vid and campaign here.