An interesting charger design that can power ALL of your mobile devices, as long as you have outlets in convenient locations.
The thingCharger is a space-saving, multi-device charging outlet featured on IndieGogo. It solves the question of whether or not you have room to charge your smart phone, a tablet and laptop while saving space for other items.
Here are the quick facts displayed on their site:
- Dimensions: 3″ x 0.8″ x 4.8″ (76 x 20 x 122 mm)
- Charge anything USB from all manufacturers: Smartphones, Tablets, Readers
- Interchangable Tips – conveniently stored in the back
- “Wire-less” charging – meaning simply that no wires need to be used, but you’re still plugging in.
- “Invisible” design – since it disappears into the wall outlet
- Keeps outlets free
- Frees up Desk and counter space
- 2 regular USB outlets at base
- Combine 2 or 3 thingChargers together
- Green-Friendly – Uses no power when not in use; and recyclable
Although the name “ThingCharger” leaves a lot to be desired as a brand and product name, it seems practical and has already exceeded its fundraising goal of $25,000 with a whopping $175,000. Pledging $29 USD gets you one thingCharger (retail value of $42 at thingCharger.com) + $5 US shipping ($10 Canadian shipping and $15 Worldwide). You can add “lightning tips” so it’s compatible with the latest Apple products. They are hoping to ship final product in Q1 of 2014.
Here are my problems with it:
We already have too many power strips.
For $50 retail, I’m not about to add to my ridiculous collection of power strips.
It assumes that we all have conveniently placed outlets around the home.
I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t have many outlets that are easily accessible for me to use in this way. The ones that are, are below knee-level making it an odd location to place my smart phone or tablet. Looking at the video, they provide example locations of where thingCharger can be used beginning at the 2:00 mark:
- The first place is in a washroom in an outlet next to the sink – That doesn’t seem like a smart idea nor a convenient location for me to leave my phone at night. I like to have my phone by me at all times. It’s my newspaper, my alarm clock, email reader, my mobile and home phone.
- The 2nd location is in a den or study. I don’t have one of those so I can’t relate, but that seems like an ideal spot.
- The 3rd location is in a kitchen – Decent spot for the charger, but if you look at the height of the phone and cabinet you’ll see there is no way a tablet could fit in there.
- The 4th location appears to be ANOTHER washroom next to a vanity mirror.
How secure are the connections?
They state it can handle the weight of up to 3 tablets, so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. BUT, if you look at the video and how the devices connect, I feel that it could be easily knocked off no matter what location you decide to plug into.
It doesn’t really save space
Granted certain chargers will no longer be needed, but how much space does it really save? 3 thingChargers equals about 2.5″ in depth, which isn’t bad. But factor in the height of an iPad and you’re looking at a height of 9.5″ for the iPad+ 4.8″ for the charger. Total height of about 1′ 2″, which brings us back to point #2 of outlet convenience.
Verdict – “Nice-to-Have” and Ideal for Travelers
They probably could’ve gone with a better name since “Thing” Charger had me giggling like a little school girl, but it’s not horrible. I love the concept and the design of it. The storage in the back is well thought out and helps address the potential of easily losing the adapters. Freeing up outlets is never a bad thing, the USB outlets are a welcome addition, and it could be how I finally clean up my sh*t storm of cords. PLUS, this could be a frequent traveler’s all-in-one charger.
But in the end, I just don’t know if this is a product that will “hang” around (see what I did there). It’s a “nice-to-have” item, and not a “must-buy” for me. At least not until the placement of outlets at desk level become more commonplace, and/or if I start traveling again.