The problem with power strips is that available sockets can soon run out, meaning you have to go out and buy new ones with more sockets. The Youmo modular power strip lets you add on additional sockets when needed, and also tag on USB ports for charging mobile gadgets.
Modular power socket units aren't a new idea of course, examples include PowerCubes that can be connected together and the upcoming Stack system from OneAdaptr. The Youmo refines the power strip in a simple, practical and versatile way. In essence, it allows you to choose the amount of outlets and what power functions you want.
To begin with, there are seven base cord colors from which to choose and base cord lengths of 1.5 m (4.9 ft), 2.5 m (8.2 ft) or 4 m (13.1 ft). Users can then select between single, double or triple electrical socket modules. US and EU base cords and socket modules will initially be available and it's possible to mix and match them as required.
It's then possible to add a variety of different modules for different purposes. There's a multi-USB module that allows users to charge or power up to four devices at once, a wireless charging module upon which compatible devices can simply be placed to charge and a smart module via which users can control and communicate with each of the other modules.
Among the functionalities of the smart module is the ability to schedule different times for appliances to be switched on and off and to receive alerts if appliances are left switched on. Alerts are provided via an accompanying iOS/Android app that can be accessed via a smartphone, tablet or laptop.
Youmo says there are a number of other modules planned for the future, including a wireless speaker module for listening to music or taking calls while your smartphone charges and an LED motion-sensor light module for illuminating your device plugs. For connectivity, there are powerline and Wi-Fi repeater modules planned, and a power surge and infrared/ultrasound surveillance modules, too. A universal module that has one outlet that works with all plug standards around the world, as well as two USB ports, is also said to be in the works.
The Youmo modular power strip is currently the subject of a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign. At the time of writing, pledges start from €30 (US$33) for a Youmo starter kit. If all goes to plan with the campaign and roll-out, shipping is expected from February 2017.
The video below is the Kickstarter pitch for the Youmo.