USB Gets A New Face

The USB interface is quite fascinating, it’s got an entire peripheral industry started to cater to its existence! We have USB hubs, compatible heads for car-charging, compatible plugs for wall sockets, etc. To cut this long route of buying compatible peripherals just for the sake of charging, why not include the USB seat into a normal socket plate? Let it sit pretty next to the 3-pin socket…just as we see in this picture! So super simple that it snapped an iF Concept Award this year!

Designers: Lv Jianhua, He Dawei, Zhou Hanxiao & Xu Yao

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40 Comments

  • Kip says:

    Its an idea i've seen about quite a bit but this is one of the more elegant looking solutions I must admit.
    Though one opportunity you've missed out on is an issue that you even have in one of the pictures. The iPhone is sat on the floor, next to the plug. Generally devices charged by USB are quite small and wouldn't stand a chance against a foot! Maybe have some sort of shelf? Pocket? Extension cable to lead it away from the floor? Just a thought…

  • Kip says:

    Its an idea i've seen about quite a bit but this is one of the more elegant looking solutions I must admit.
    Though one opportunity you've missed out on is an issue that you even have in one of the pictures. The iPhone is sat on the floor, next to the plug. Generally devices charged by USB are quite small and wouldn't stand a chance against a foot! Maybe have some sort of shelf? Pocket? Extension cable to lead it away from the floor? Just a thought…

  • [Bob] says:

    For this kind of socket, you need to deliver +5V (or something like this…). This means that behind the socket, you have a permanently-connected power adapter. This concept may be fine for consumers that usually let their phone charger connected all year long, but not for the others… Or is there an hidden switch?

  • [Bob] says:

    For this kind of socket, you need to deliver +5V (or something like this…). This means that behind the socket, you have a permanently-connected power adapter. This concept may be fine for consumers that usually let their phone charger connected all year long, but not for the others… Or is there an hidden switch?

  • Kim says:

    What software was used to render this image?

  • Kim says:

    What software was used to render this image?

  • Saw this on Engadget a while ago for U.S. power outlets. Except its not a concept, they are really making them. Currently a little delayed due to getting UL approval, but still coming! http://www.engadget.com/2009/12/05/10-usb-power-o

  • Saw this on Engadget a while ago for U.S. power outlets. Except its not a concept, they are really making them. Currently a little delayed due to getting UL approval, but still coming! http://www.engadget.com/2009/12/05/10-usb-power-o

  • I've been saying for donkey's years that we really need some kind of standardized DC supply in the home. Not necessarily USB sockets, though that form factor has a good head start. Ideally it would be able to supply different voltages, like 3V, 9V, 12V according to the needs of a device. Not just for recharging either – it could power whole desktop computers, mood lighting, clocks, speakers…

    Nice to see it paired with a UK mains socket :-)

  • I've been saying for donkey's years that we really need some kind of standardized DC supply in the home. Not necessarily USB sockets, though that form factor has a good head start. Ideally it would be able to supply different voltages, like 3V, 9V, 12V according to the needs of a device. Not just for recharging either – it could power whole desktop computers, mood lighting, clocks, speakers…

    Nice to see it paired with a UK mains socket :-)

  • r1885 says:

    "Don't blame me, I'm an interpreter, I'm not supposed to know the difference between a power socket and a computer terminal!"

  • r1885 says:

    “Don't blame me, I'm an interpreter, I'm not supposed to know the difference between a power socket and a computer terminal!”

  • Zx801 says:

    I think this blog post should be flagged as *NSFW*.

    Just look at the shape on the left side. That's a damn cock!

  • Zx801 says:

    I think this blog post should be flagged as *NSFW*.

    Just look at the shape on the left side. That's a damn cock!

  • Alex says:

    Where is the on/off switch?

    • anon says:

      I'm with Alex – this is a continuous source of vampire voltage and needs to be wired as such. I've also gotta wonder about how much longer USB will be a viable connector when you consider it's relative age (it's been around in personal computers since the mid 1990s).

      ZX801 – the outlet shown is UK standard.

  • Alex says:

    Where is the on/off switch?

    • anon says:

      I'm with Alex – this is a continuous source of vampire voltage and needs to be wired as such. I've also gotta wonder about how much longer USB will be a viable connector when you consider it's relative age (it's been around in personal computers since the mid 1990s).

      ZX801 – the outlet shown is UK standard.

  • Hamranhansenhansen says:

    This is an old idea that was around when iPods still used FireWire, which you see on wall jacks in studios to pass through walls. So for your iPod those were power jacks.

    But nobody can make the wall plates cheap enough for consumers. It ends up being cheaper to buy a powered hub. And the tech changes fast. In 2001, iPods used FireWire only, then in 2004, both FireWire and 5v USB2, then in 2008 5v/10v USB2 only, and iPads can only charge on 5v if they are sleeping. In home construction terms those are really quick changes.

  • Hamranhansenhansen says:

    This is an old idea that was around when iPods still used FireWire, which you see on wall jacks in studios to pass through walls. So for your iPod those were power jacks.

    But nobody can make the wall plates cheap enough for consumers. It ends up being cheaper to buy a powered hub. And the tech changes fast. In 2001, iPods used FireWire only, then in 2004, both FireWire and 5v USB2, then in 2008 5v/10v USB2 only, and iPads can only charge on 5v if they are sleeping. In home construction terms those are really quick changes.

  • Sporitus says:

    The stolen idea. Was introduced by Sporitus in 2005 on SlideShare

  • Sporitus says:

    The stolen idea. Was introduced by Sporitus in 2005 on SlideShare

  • Octavian says:

    What about coping with power surges? 😉

  • Octavian says:

    What about coping with power surges? 😉

  • There’s definately a lot to learn about this subject.
    I like all the points you made.

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