Brilliant UK electrical plug concept saves space

I spent nearly twenty minutes wiping coffee off my computer monitor yesterday after performing a Danny Thomas spit-take while watching this amazing video of a proposed design for a United Kingdom 3-pin electrical plug for a laptop.

I really hope this product eventually makes it to the manufacturing stage, as it’s one of the best examples of space-saving industrial design that we’ve ever seen.

38 Comments for “Brilliant UK electrical plug concept saves space”

  1. posted by RML - Being More Through Having Less on

    That was truly amazing and innovative. I hope it gets developer and the inventor does very well out of it!

  2. posted by Brianne on

    That is exactly the sort of streamlining and forward thinking that the tech industry needs. Extremely innovative and practical.

  3. posted by AG on

    Bravo! Well done. I could see travelers running to the store to get that one.

  4. posted by Gail Gray on

    Thank you for sharing that. It was amazing to see what they came up with. Can’t wait to get one!

    On a side note…is it wrong of me to notice the clutter all over the desk of one of the photos?

  5. posted by L. on

    Does anyone know if there exists a fire or shorting hazard in this concept?

  6. posted by Peter on

    That, quite simply, is a work of genius.

    And the demo video a work of art.

    One I really must figure out how to match.

  7. posted by George I on

    RIDICULOUSLY brilliant!! Inspiringly simple! Example of true design thinking.

  8. posted by Flachstecker - zonebattler´s homezone 2.0 on

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  9. posted by Sandi on

    Wow. Truly brilliant and so marketable…can’t come to market soon enough for me!

  10. posted by alice chute on

    hope this makes it to reality. what happens to the transformers though

  11. posted by 392mhz on

    i really admire the inventor, this is truly amazing, but
    instead of compressing the plug, why not completely forget it?
    All Brits should replace your wall sockets to European
    2-pin style and you would be able to use regular small plugs. i know this takes time, but saves money on a long term.

  12. posted by Anne on

    @392mhz You may be interested in a recent Gizmodo article about why every country has a different plug. The outlook is rather grim for your suggestion :) However there seems to be some hope for wireless induction charging, which would do away with plugs altogether. (From http://gizmodo.com/5391271/giz-explains-why-every-country-has-a-different-fing-plug)

  13. posted by Courtney on

    This is such a great idea. But what about the cord? The clutter of multiple cords and having to wrap them up for travel is always the most annoying part to me.

  14. posted by Alex on

    That’s absolutely amazing.

  15. posted by Andrew on

    I like the British plugs. I prefer them to stay in the wall than be conveniently small.

  16. posted by Mick Morris on

    WOW…… brilliant thinking, who says you can’t improve on the “mousetrap”.

  17. posted by Jeanne B. on

    That is genius. And it’s an elegant design solution. I hope she sells it, and makes a fortune.

  18. posted by CoCreatr on

    Great small cool hot design.

    Re: fire or shorting hazard in this concept?

    Flash answer: No. The concept is non-conductive.

    Honest estimate: No.

    Reason: Before the new space-saver plug can be offered on the market it needs to be safety-tested and approved by an independent 3rd party test laboratory. Like all devices connected to hazardous mains voltage.

  19. posted by Wellington Grey on

    I really like the folding plug, anything to save space.

    That being said, I lived in the UK for six years and one of the things that I loved was their plug.

    Yes, it’s big, but it’s really satisfying to use. They click into place in the wall and never fall out. (I’m looking at you, ungrounded US plugs)

  20. posted by Rich on

    If I recall everything in the UK is 240 volts 50 Hz?

  21. posted by Tim Kenyon on

    Truly awesome idea and design. I applaud the inventor and PRAY that this goes to development then gets applied to all devices retroactively.

    This design looks like it will save money, time, and space, and – most importantly – reduce the amount of plastic, copper, and other metals currently used in manufacturing big chunky plugs.

  22. posted by Drew on

    The thing with this is it’s such an obvious idea but it takes people like this to think outside the box to acctually invent it… Genious

  23. posted by lammy on

    We can’t use the euro plug as we use ring main circuits in the UK which have up to 40A flowing through them. We therefore need heavy duty plugs with fuses built into them for protection. If we switched to the Euro plug we’d also have to rewire all our houses, basically.

  24. posted by Genius Gadget Lust: Folding UK Three-pin Plug on

    [...] (via Unclutterer) [...]

  25. posted by The Perfect Plug? on

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  26. posted by Tammy Morales on

    Brilliant – I to can not wait for this to be introduced on this side of the pond.

    Thanks for sharing

  27. posted by Chris Wood on

    I’ll eat my hat if this doesn’t make it to the market. Any of the Dragons in the Den would be falling over themselves to invest in this.

  28. posted by Jurgen on

    That’s fantastic. Just another proof that the very best idea’s are often simple by nature. I love it.

  29. posted by O plug de tomada mais fino do mundo! « A_R_Q_U_I_T_O on

    [...] 16/11/2009 por Arquito via Unclutterer [...]

  30. posted by Tweet Weekly Bulletin: First Edition | Code My Own Road on

    [...] Brilliant UK electrical plug concept saves space – Unclutterer [...]

  31. posted by UK Folding Plug Design | The Productive Student on

    [...] Something that’s been bugging me since I arrived in the UAE is the British three-pin plug. I hope this becomes the new standard. (via Unclutterer) [...]

  32. posted by Kev on

    Brilliant idea but I cannot envisage our tight fisted businesses investing in this without ripping off the inventor for vast wedges of money. She deserves all the credit for her ‘thinking outside the box’. The manufacturers didn’t invent it and the inventor even went to the extent of designing the manufacturing process for them so its a simple process.
    I couldn’t help notice how modest the inventor sounded when describing the invention and development process. All credit to someone who sounds like they put the problem solving solution before personal rewards.
    I wonder if there is a charitable fund available to fund third party developments? Maybe John Dyson could help her?

  33. posted by Jq on

    The U.k. isn’t the only country that uses 3 pin Plugs, so it is exportable aswell. She needs to have a firm patent on it and a damn good lawyer to work out an Iron tight contract and make the fortune that is deserved by creating something so useful. Dyson, Branson british entrepreneurs GET on board with this!

  34. posted by Magic Tips on

    Fantastic! This is one of the best ideas I’ve seen in years!

  35. posted by James Turnbull on

    Thought everybody would be happy to hear that Min-Kyu Choi’s design has just won the Brit Insurance design of the year prize:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2010/mar/16/folding-plug-wins-design-prize

  36. posted by Gag Halfrunt on

    Just to be clear, Min-Kyu Choi is a man. The narration sounds like a voice synthesiser. Here he is on BBC Television speaking with a strong Korean accent and looking rather nervous.

  37. posted by Rach on

    My first thought when I saw this was the pain of accidently standing on a 3-pin plug, which I’m sure anyone living in the UK will know! This idea will put an end to that as well as making the things easier to pack. Hurrah fo Mr Choi! (It will be available in 2010 according to the website http://www.madeinmind.co.uk/faq.php).

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