It's amazing how very simple ideas can sometimes stop you in your tracks, and the folding plug from inventor Min Kyu Choi is the perfect example of that.
His idea scooped him the runner up prize of the James Dyson award, an international engineering design competition looking for new and innovative ideas for new products.
According to Choi, he came up with the idea after he bought himself a Macbook Air, Apple's ultra-thin laptop. He soon got annoyed with the fact that although the laptop itself was thin and sleek, the charger ended in a cumbersome plug end that would often end up scratching the Air's chassis.
So the recent graduate in product design from the Royal College of Art set about developing a plug that could fold up into a much smaller space when not in use.
His design works by turning the live and neutral pins sideways in line with the earth pin, creating a single thin plane. When extended into the normal position, two flaps fold out to secure them into position.
Choi has even taken the design one step further, by creating an adaptor that allows three folded plugs to be inserted into a block, effectively creating a multi-plug not much bigger than a normal plug.
He has patented the product and is building a working prototype, which he will seek to manufacture worldwide once it is judged to be safe by the BSI, the UK's safety standards body.
Personally I can't wait for these to become commercially available so I can replace the bulky plugs on just about every charger I can.
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