OWC's USB Wall Socket May Be Coming To A Coffee Shop Near You
There's a good chance that almost every one of your gadgets charges by USB. Charging via USB has become so popular that many companies don't even include an AC adapter with their device, instead selling it as an optional accessory. Other World Computing (OWC) eliminates that middle man, allowing users to plug their devices directly into a wall socket with the Power2U. The outlet was previously just for home use, but this year at CES 2013 the company unveiled a second model, which is now approved for installation almost anywhere.
The previous version was only available in 15 amps, but the new version is a fully 20 amp model. This means that the device can now used for residential, commercial, hospitality, education and municipal applications. The outlet is UL-certified and ready to replace older and outdated outlets in hotel rooms and schools across the country. There's enough power to charge either two smartphones or one tablet at a time.
Our favorite part of this device was the cover over the USB ports. They're smart covers that, when closed, completely cut off power to the port, so there's no energy draining or extranious power consumption. We were able to easily push this cover to the side using our USB end, making it easy to plug in our device using only one hand.
According to OWC, the outlets are easy to install and the entire installation process takes 20 minutes or less. This new version should be available in the coming months and there's not yet an official price, although the older version retails for $19.95. With USB chargers everywhere, the world will be more mobile-friendly than ever.