We’re Plugged into the U-Socket USB Electrical Outlet

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I don’t know about you, but my husband and I have a lot of gadgets. Off the top of my head, between us we have an iPod Touch, an iPod Mini, an iPhone, a Blackberry, a Flip camera, two laptops, a digital camera, a Nintendo DS, and a couple of Koboos (Canadian eReaders). Consumer, thy name is Jen.

We therefore have that very First World Problem of always needing to charge our gadgets – a task that can be annoying when:

  • You have to charge it at the computer USB port when you really want to charge it while still using it somewhere else in the home
  • The USB adaptor that lets you charge in a regular wall socket is already in use by something or someone else
  • Third annoying point. Ok, I don’t have one.

We always say that some of the smartest products are the simple ones – and here is yet another example of a simple idea that helps to solve the issue of easier and more convenient gadget charging. The U-Socket is an AC receptacle with a built-in USB ports that you can install (almost) anywhere. Genius!

Here are the details and features:

  • Compatible with iPod, iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Nintendo, PSP, Bluetooth Headsets, Digital Cameras, GPS & more!
  • 15 Amp, 125 Volt NEMA compliant 5-15R
  • 2.4A-5V USB 3.0 Power Ports @ 2400 mA (total)
  • Charge 4 Devices Simultaneously
  • 5-Star Energy Efficient Design – it only outputs power through the USB port if something is connected to it, saving energy in the long run
  • Auto Sensing Wattage
  • BTO Tamper Resistant Option
  • Available In Standard & Decora Style with different colors to choose from
  • End User Installable (that’s us!)
  • Made in the USA

You obviously wouldn’t need to replace all your sockets with this (unless you are even more gadget obsessed than we are) – just use it in some strategic places in your home that you may want to charge and use your electronics. I’m thinking the U-Socket would be ideal near the living room couch, near the bedside table, in the den, by the kitchen counter, an extra one near your computer and one in the bathroom. Was that last one an overshare? Probably.

The U-Socket, a product that was named one of the best tech ideas of 2010 by the New York Times, is available at FastMac starting at $22.95.

Photo of author

About Jen

Jen (but never “Jenn”) Byck, aka the Fix'n Vixen, is a Toronto-based freelance writer and communication consultant who is undoubtedly home fixated (she is also TV fixated, really bad TV fixated and donut fixated). Her approach to home improvement has been rather trial and error, the latter of which is evidenced by the amount of spackle she buys on an annual basis.

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7 thoughts on “We’re Plugged into the U-Socket USB Electrical Outlet”

  1. So the auto-sensing wattage ensures the appropriate output for the device? How does it know the current, voltage, etc for a PSP vs. iPhone (or are they all the same)?

    I think I’d really like to grab one of these. My wife and I have several devices, and all the chargers are spread throughout our house.

    • Ethan, what am I, an electrical engineer? ; ) Actually, I’m not sure about auto-sensing wattage. I’m am pretty sure they’ve designed this thing so you can plug in just about any usb device and it will charge it (it’s compatible with usb 1.0 – 3.0). The products do say “This item is currently waiting on final safety approval”, which I’m hoping doesn’t mean they’ll melt your fancy new iPad! Maybe start with a charging a Zune or something, just in case.

      • I’m no engineer either but I do know the USB plug is standard across the board from version 1.0 to 3.0 with an output of +5v so the only thing that matters is the max Amp draw. A headset might pull 0.2A where an iPad might pull a full 1.0A so if this thing puts out 2.4A that should be enough to charge any device you can plug in. If you look at the fine print on the adapter that comes with any device it will show the Amp rating. For example I can use my eReader charger (1.0A) for my phone (0.4A) but not the other way around since the reader draws more Amps. I think this would be a great idea as long as the heat is dissipated through the faceplate although it would help to have a version for 20A circuits as well.

        • I don’t know Bob, you’re starting to sound like an electrical engineer to me! Good thought on the 20A version too. Thanks for the comment!


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