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SnapPower adds USB power to any wall outlet, no rewiring required

SnapPower adds USB power to an...
The SnapPower Charger is installed in place of an existing wall outlet cover plate
The SnapPower Charger is installed in place of an existing wall outlet cover plate
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The SnapPower Charger is installed in place of an existing wall outlet cover plate
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The SnapPower Charger is installed in place of an existing wall outlet cover plate
The SnapPower Charger works with a variety of USB-chargeable devices
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The SnapPower Charger works with a variety of USB-chargeable devices
The outlet's two main receptacles still work too, and remain functional and accessible when the USB is in use
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The outlet's two main receptacles still work too, and remain functional and accessible when the USB is in use

Not everyone wants to leave their computer powered up, every time they need to charge a device via USB. That's why some people use wall outlet adapter plugs, or they wire in new outlets that contain USB ports. The new SnapPower Charger, however, offers an alternative. It's a wall outlet cover plate that provides 1 amp of USB power, with no rewiring or extra hardware necessary.

Users simply unscrew the cover plate on an existing outlet, pull it off, then push the Charger onto the outlet and screw it back on. That's it.

Two prongs on the inside of the plate make contact with the wiring screws on either side of the outlet, directing an electrical current down to its USB port. The outlet's two main receptacles still work too, and remain functional and accessible when the USB is in use.

The outlet's two main receptacles still work too, and remain functional and accessible when the USB is in use
The outlet's two main receptacles still work too, and remain functional and accessible when the USB is in use

Additionally, because the port is on the side of the device, it can be installed on outlets located behind furniture, where there wouldn't be room for an outward-protruding USB cable.

SnapPower is currently raising production funds for the Charger on Kickstarter, where a pledge of US$14 will get you one – assuming all goes according to plan. The device won't work with all countries' outlet types, so check for compatibility on the Kickstarter page before ordering.

The company's other product, the Guidelight, was a Kickstarter success story. It's powered in the same fashion as the Charger, although it has a built-in night light instead of a USB port.

Sources: SnapPower, Kickstarter

10 comments
Matt Chroust
Second photo is bogus. Any outlet that close to a sink would be a ground fault GFCI outlet.
justinmc
The bump on the bottom would prevent most types of wall mount power adapters from being plugged in. Why not just use a 1 inch cube USB plug for $5?
Bill Bennett
@ Matt, yeah I noticed that too. @justin, I have three or four of those, some were free.
Deadpan
I saw that they are UL listed and certified, but that looks like a fire hazard if you expect regular users to install it.
Derek Howe
@Matt Chroust - Wrong. That second photo is not bogus. GFCI's can have wires connected to the line side, AND the load side, so everything connected downstream of that outlet is now GFCI protected.
Bob Shock
1 plug at 1 amp is so last decade! I usually have at least three devices plugged in, all of which can accept 2+ amps to charge faster.
Jay Finke
@Derek Howe Matt never seen a GFI breaker, they can be hid in the house at any location and be a pain in the ass to find. I like them at the outlet, that way when it fails, you can pop it out and throw in a standard outlet that costs about a $1.
jjsmail
It is a big assumption that the side screws on the outlets are all exactly in the same place, and some are split for switched use, etc. Also, many outlet boxes are crammed with wires. I foresee some safety approval issues. And - as stated above, you can have one GFCI outlet that controls the rest in your bathroom, etc. Of course having your phone next to a sink is never a good idea!
Kevin Ritchey
GFI's can be interconnected so one can be located in another bathroom or up line somewhere. One of mine is located in garage next to breaker box. Stupid, lazy electricians sometimes.
Kevin Ritchey
I replaced many of my wall outlets with GE surge suppressor variety. That way you don't require huge multi-plug power strips. And they were relatively inexpensive. Just a thought.