PlugBook power strip can be hidden on a bookshelf
By Simon Crisp
June 6, 2012
Power cables are a necessary evil of technological life - until we all get wireless electricity - and while a tangled and fully loaded power strip is annoying, we always find there's something insanely irksome about trying to find your seemingly hidden (and equally tangled) "spare" extension cord. Well, PlugBook is a power strip/extension cord which has been designed to look like a book ... so that it can be neatly stored on your bookshelf when not in use.
Currently heading towards a goal of US$45,000 on Kickstarter, the PlugBook is the brain-child of Netherlands-based designer Dave Hakkens, who said he wanted to create an extension cord which would always be on hand. Hakkens wanted something which could be stored in open view so that it would always be available when it came to charging a laptop, drilling a hole or connecting a lamp.
His solution is a power strip/extension cord which is shaped like a large book and features a retractable 10-ft (3-m) cable. Hakkens says this means that when the PlugBook - which boasts two power sockets and two 2-amp USB sockets for recharging you phone or other gadgets - can be kept on a bookshelf and easily grabbed whenever needed.
Measuring 9.6 x 6 x 2.1 inches (243 x 152 x 55 mm) the PlugBook is planned to come in two versions, one for use in the U.S., and another to be used across Europe. Both versions are made from ABS plastic and will come in four colors: White, black, "encyclopedia" red and a yet to be determined color. A button on the "spine" of the PlugBook automatically rewinds the cable back into the device.
The U.S. version will have overcurrent protection and an on/off switch along with the two type B sockets and Nem 5-15 plug, meaning it can also be used in Canada, Mexico and Venezuela among other places. The EU version has overheating protection, two schuko sockets and a CEE7/7 plug, meaning it's good for use across most of Europe. More international socket versions are planned for the future, if the products are successful.
Hakkens says he has worked with Dutch plug specialists Designcord to make sure the US$29.95 PlugBook is ready for production, including meeting all safety regulations, and that he has produced a 3D print model and all the technical drawings needed. The Kickstarter funding (if successful) will be used to invest in molds, certifications and packaging. Pledge options begin at $20.
More information is available in his pitch video, below.