The Built-In USB Outlet You've Been Waiting For

Photo: Courtesy SnapPower.
Your iPad, iPhone, smartwatch, activity tracker, and (soon) even your MacBook all charge via USB. But because, I don't know, walls and apartment managers haven't caught onto this trend, every outlet in your home is still a standard three-prong wall plate. It makes sense, unfortunately: To add or swap out a normal outlet for one that includes USB ports, you typically need to do some wiring trickery for it to work properly.

But, not anymore. The SnapPower Charger, currently raising funds on Kickstarter, replaces your old outlet cover plate and adds a 1 amp USB port at the bottom — no extra wiring required. To install it, you first turn off power to the outlet (important to ensure you don't accidentally shock yourself), unscrew the old wall plate, and then screw on the SnapPower model. Presto! Now, you've got two standard outlets and a USB for powering three or more devices at the same time. 

The profile is more slender than the standard wall port adapter you need to plug in to charge your phone or tablet, which is useful if your outlet is positioned behind furniture. It's compatible with nearly all outlets except for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets — the ones you find in bathrooms that have the "test" and "reset" buttons. And, because we can't have outlets clashing with home decor, it comes in three hues: white, light almond, and ivory. 

SnapPower is made by the same company that previously brought the SnapRays nightlight wall charger to the market, so the likelihood that it will deliver a quality, timely product the second time around is high. 

You can support SnapPower's well-funded Kickstarter campaign here. A single face plate will cost $16, but if you pre-order, you can grab it for $14. You can also pre-order a pack of 10 for $110 for all your charging needs. 

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