About this project
Thank you everyone for your support and backing during our Kickstarter Campaign! LivingPlug is off to the races - we could not have done it without our backers.
Please visit www.livingplug.com for more information.
- Charley and Sam
WHAT IS LIVINGPLUG?
LivingPlug has set out to redefine the ubiquitous duplex electrical outlet. Seeing an opportunity to improve on overall aesthetics, child safety, energy efficiency and antiquated functionality - we have developed a beautifully designed plug and play solution that addresses all of these issues.
Our vision is to bring life to the outlet through a product roadmap that includes a myriad of smart applications - we will serve as a platform for new technology and introduce a different way for people to interact with their electrical outlet.
INTRODUCING INLET (patent pending)
Our first product, INLET will enhance the utility of the standard duplex outlet by including a high capacity 2.1v USB charger and replacing two standard outlets with three tamper resistant outlets.
The three tamper resistant outlets will improve child safety by creating a lock that will prevent electrical connectivity if a metal object (paperclip, scissors etc.) penetrates only one of the receptacles, electricity will only flow if the outlet is used properly. Adding to the child safety benefits is an optional anchor screw that allows parents to secure the INLET directly to a standard outlet, thus preventing a child from accessing the non-tamper resistant outlets on the wall.
Placed next to the USB on the top of the INLET is the UNPlug Button, which empowers users to stop energy loss from, devices that are plugged in but not in use.
The quarter inch reveal along the base of the INLET allows the unit to run flush with a wall, covering the duplex outlet completely, complementing our front design which represents the deconstruction and rethinking of the way the outlet should look in 2013 not 1915
Outlets are architects and designer’s nemesis, they are routinely cropped or photoshopped out of home décor magazine photo spreads and furniture catalogs.
Approximately 2,400 children receive emergency room treatment every year for injuries caused by inserting objects into electrical outlets.
PHANTOM CHARGES / ENERGY EFFICIENCY
10% or more of a home energy bill is wasted due to phantom or vampire charges, appliances that are plugged in, but not in use.
For over 100 years the outlet has served one purpose – delivery of electricity. There are 75 outlets in the average US household, with one purpose…
WHAT ARE FACEPLATES?
As we focused on the utility deficiencies of the modern outlet, we also realized how unaesthetic it is and how outlets are an afterthought (at best) when a room is designed or decorated. Our frustration was not alone, almost all architects and designers we spoke with identified this as a challenge and home décor magazines and furniture catalogs go to great lengths to avoid having outlets pictured in layouts (go ahead and try to find one – it’s a lot harder than Where’s Waldo).
LivingPlug’s interchangeable faceplate system allows customers to further conceal their outlet. Sliding easily over the four pins on the front of the INLET, faceplates will be available in a variety of materials at launch. Some materials like our solid walnut can provide warmth to a room while our ABS and MDF faceplates were designed for custom printing via a production partner.
Customers will be able to select from a catalog of prints that complement the placement of the INLET (children’s room, kitchen etc.) or be able to upload their own photos, all available at an online faceplate shop located at www.livingplug.com (available at launch). In time we plan to partner with a selection of designers, decorators and artists to offer an online made to order faceplate shop to complement the INLET.
A universe of faceplate covers that can:
- conceal the outlet (match to paint or wallpaper),
- accent your room (stainless steel in the kitchen)
- explore your creativity (custom print from a designer or artist)
PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE
We decided to focus on this century old technology because we are frustrated that society takes for granted something so central to everyone's lives, not only in the outlet’s singular use, but also in its complete lack of aesthetic. It became very apparent that most attempts to improve on the outlet resemble the powerstrip and are sold in a hardware aisle, inversely there are a few beautifully designed solutions that are largely inaccessible due to a hefty price and a challenging installation.
In developing LivingPlug, we have deconstructed the outlet and have mapped a new solution that will enhance aesthetics, improve child safety, assist energy conservation and add to the human experience through greater utility.
We have been thinking about the issues around the outlet since 2009 and have been working on this full time for almost a year.
We are working with a factory in China to prototype, tool and manufacture the INLET. After three prototypes from the factory (and at least a half dozen made over the kitchen table), we have our final prototype and have made a deposit on tooling. Our faceplates will be fabricated in a mill located in Forest Lake, Minnesota and we have partnered with a printer for custom faceplates in Sacramento, California.
We are sharing our efforts with the Kickstarter community to ask for help so we can complete tooling and place our first order.
We are already looking at where smarts can take this project and look forward to the Kickstarter community joining on the journey.
This is only the beginning...
Product Specs and Key Features:
- Size - 5x5x1.25
- Outlets – 3 Tamper Resistant Receptacles
- USB - USB - High Capacity 2.1v USB Charger
- “UNplug” Button saves energy by eliminating phantom or vampire energy loss
- Interchangeable FACEPLATE system
- Optional anchor screw which allows for further child safety by securing directly to a standard outlet
Risks and challenges
We have spent a long time and a good amount of our own money to bring LivingPlug to market, however we are not there yet. LivingPlug is not a side business so we are addressing challenges as quickly as they come up!
1) We need to pay for tooling and our initial order, without funding we will not receive inventory
2) We have not received UL approval yet, this occurs as soon as the first INLETs are off the line (we do not anticipate any issues)
3) We are a small player in terms of hardware production and can be bumped by larger orders at our factory
4) We are importing from oversees, in bound freight can be subject to various delays
5) There are a lot of copycats with a lot of resources out there - we need to stay ahead and believe we have a clear and unique vision of progress through technology in our product roadmap
6) Customers cant get their heads around putting a faceplate on their outlet - in the 1970s nobody thought they needed television remote controls, we must create the new standardLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
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