RCA renovates the AC plug, turns your outlets into charging stations

rca renovates the ac plug turns your outlets into charging stations audiovox press conferenceSometimes the simple ideas are the best, and often times when a good product is announced, people will look at it and wonder why no one else thought of it before. Such is the case with RCA’s (in association with Audiovox, now known as Voxx Internaitonal) new line of USB-based charging solutions.

For those of us neck deep in the technological world, charging various devices has become the bane of our lives–especially when on the road. As the tech press of the world descends on Vegas for CES, even with the massive energy consumed by the city itself, there is still probably a spike in the power drain as the journalists all try to charge their phones, computers, e-readers, cameras, etc., etc. And then there is the fight for outlets themselves, which is a challenge for people with multiple devices.

rca renovates the ac plug turns your outlets into charging stations usb wall cahrgerOne easy solution is to use USB ports for devices that can take charges that way. RCA decided to expand on that idea. The company has unveiled a new line of USB charging solutions, beginning with a USB Wall Charger Plate that replaces current dual slotted AC outlets with a single AC outlet, and a pair of USB charging ports that make charging your phone, MP3 player, e-reader, and the dozens of other power-hungry devices a simple task. The Wall Charger Plate will run just $19.99, and will hits stores immediately.

Along with the wall charger, RCA has unveiled a new series of alarm clocks that all feature USB ports as well. The top of the line alarm will run $49.99, feature two USB ports, and an area at the top of the clock to hold your devices.

In the same theme, RCA also introduced a series of nightlights that contain a USB charger. The nightlight plugs into a standard AC unit in the wall, then a USB device can be connected to the front. There are a handful of models, including one that glows blue for illumination, and also puts off an amber glow when a connected device is charging then goes off when fully charged.

Five years ago, the idea of a USB replacing an AC outlet would have bordered on ludicrous. Today it may just become the new standard for techies around the world.


Photography News: Taking a smartphone photo probably saved this guy’s life

A man was snapping a photo in Australia when the smartphone stopped an arrow shot at his face. In this week's photography news, see Canon's plans for a stabilized mirrorless, Hasselblad's newest accessories, Samyang's latest lens, and more.

Here's our guide to how to charge your laptop using a USB-C cable

Charging via USB-C is a great way to power up your laptop. It only takes one cable and you can use the same one for data as well as power -- perfect for new devices with limited port options.

Bags with brains: Smart luggage and gadgets are making travel smoother

The bag you use to tote your stuff can affect the experience of any trip. In response, suitcases are wising up, and there are now options for smart luggage with scales, tracking, and more. Here are our favorite pieces.

Have an issue with your 3DS? We can help you fix it with these common solutions

The Nintendo 3DS has seen its fair share of issues since it launched in 2011, including poor battery life and fragile Circle Pads. Here are some of the most common, as well as the steps you can take to solve them.
Emerging Tech

Body surrogate robot helps people with motor impairments care for themselves

A team from Georgia Tech has come up with an assistant robot to help people who have severe motor impairments to perform tasks like shaving, brushing their hair, or drinking water.
Emerging Tech

New Hubble image displays dazzling Messier 28 globular cluster

Messier 28 is a group of stars in the constellation of Sagittarius, located 18,000 light-years from our planet. Thousands of stars are packed tightly together in this sparkling image.
Emerging Tech

A.I.-generated text is supercharging fake news. This is how we fight back

A new A.I. tool is reportedly able to spot passages of text written by algorithm. Here's why similar systems might prove essential in a world of fake news created by smart machines.
Emerging Tech

Cosmic dust bunnies: Scientists find unexpected ring around Mercury

A pair of scientists searching for a dust-free region near the Sun have made an unexpected discovery: a vast cosmic dust ring millions of miles wide around the tiny planet Mercury.
Emerging Tech

Take a dip in the Lagoon Nebula in first image from SPECULOOS instrument

The European Southern Observatory has released the first image collected by their new SPECULOOS instrument, and it's a stunning portrait of the Lagoon Nebula, a swirling cloud of dust and gas where new stars are born.
Emerging Tech

Robot assistants from Toyota and Panasonic gear up for the Tokyo Olympics

Japan plans to use the 2020 Olympics to showcase a range of its advanced technologies. Toyota and Panasonic are already getting in on the act, recently unveiling several robotic designs that they intend to deploy at the event.
Emerging Tech

Racing to catch a flight? Robot valet at French airport will park your car

Hate searching for parking at the airport when you need to catch a plane? Startup Stanley Robotics recently unveiled a new outdoor automated robotic valet system. Here's how it works.

At $99, Nvidia’s Jetson Nano minicomputer seeks to bring robotics to the masses

Nvidia announced a new A.I. computer, the Jetson Nano. This computer comes with an 128-core GPU that Nvidia claims can handle pretty much any A.I. framework you could imagine. At $99, it's an affordable way for A.I. newbies to get involved.

Nvidia’s A.I. Playground lets you edit photos, experience deep learning research

Nvidia is making it easier to access information on deep learning research. It has launched an online space with three demos for image editing, styling, as well as photorealistic image synthesis. 

British Airways’ new Club Suite for business class comes with a door

British Airways is going after a bigger slice of the business class market with the imminent launch of the Club Suite. The plush seating option offers a more private space as well as an easier route to the bathroom.