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Hands-on with Perch: The chirping power puck

Do you frequently leave your cell phone charger at hotels? There's a new gadget that will jog your memory with annoying chirps.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
2 min read
The Perch power plug nagger. (click to enlarge)
The Perch power plug nagger. (click to enlarge) Josh Lowensohn/CNET

LAS VEGAS--Inventor Brian Tedesco holds up a nest of hopelessly entangled cell phone chargers the showroom floor, giving it a shake for dramatic effect.

"This is from a week at the Plaza hotel," he says.

"And this...is the solution."

Tedesco points to his new gadget, called Perch. It's a small go-between your wall and your gadget's AC adapter that beeps when you unplug your device from its charging cord.

The nag, which is a series of beeps at different chords, won't stop until you take your charger out of the unit, or set it in a less threatening "home" mode.

Tedesco says that the company's spent a considerable amount of time and research figuring out just how loud to make it, which turns out to be downright annoying. But in this case, that's a good thing.

Tedesco said the idea for the gadget struck him after reading a Wall Street Journal article about people leaving behind an increasing number of cell phone chargers when staying at hotels. He came up with the idea of a chord progression, then hired a patent attorney to research whether anyone had gotten there first. The end result was technology that scans the outlet to determine whether what's plugged in is a small gadget with a battery or something else.

The model of Perch on display here at CES is a production prototype. The company aims to bring a leaner model aimed at consumers for $10 that will be sold online. Tedesco is also attempting to broker deals with hotels to get Perch units installed.

Eventually Tedesco said he wants to get the technology out to device manufacturers so that they can add it to their own chargers, removing the need for people to carry around an extra device.

Here's a video of it in action at CES:

Watch this: Perch: The power plug that nags you