You can plug your USB cable right into this outlet, no adaptor needed

snappower outlet cover has usb charger
Forget fiddling with sockets and wires. A new outlet cover makes powering up your USB devices easier than ever.

SnapPower USB ChargerUsually when you lose your adaptor, you have to charge your phone through your computer’s USB port. But with a new outlet cover called the SnapPower, all you need is the cable. The cover screws into your wall, so you don’t need to go searching for additional connective parts. If SnapPower sounds familiar, it may be because the company launched a crowdfunding campaign for its guidelight outlet covers last year, which turn on automatically when it gets dark.

Designed with internal power prongs, the charger draws power from screws located on the outlet’s sides. Its charging port is off to the side at the bottom of the cover, so you can freely plug in your USB cable without obstructing the two regular outlets. Just turn off the power to the outlet, remove the existing cover, screw on the SnapPower cover, and it’s ready for charging. Keep in mind that the extra USB port does make the SnapPower hang down a little lower than a standard cover.

Any standard outlet in your home with exposed screw terminals becomes USB compatible, no wiring required. However, the apparatus isn’t compatible with Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets, sometimes located in bathrooms. They typically have a “test” and “reset” button on their faces.

Since launching his Kickstarter campaign, SnapPower has raised over $206,000, well beyond its $35,000 goal. The company claims it’s on target to deliver the cover to backers this August. While there are various packs available for sale, you can nab a single charger (in two styles and three colors) at the super early bird special price of $14.

Mobile

Razer’s Wireless Charger will turn your desk into gamer heaven

The Razer Wireless Charger adds colorful flair to your desk or bedside table. It works with any phone that supports Qi wireless charging -- with some quirks -- but is it worth the high price tag? We take a look.
Smart Home

Legrand’s Smart Lighting touts security, interoperability, and simple setup

Near universal connectivity including Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings, Nest, Ring, and the Internet of Things is the theme of Legrand's Smart Lighting Radiant collection of switches, dimmers, outlets, and plugs.
Outdoors

The best battery packs and power stations for use in the outdoors

If you want to keep your smartphones, tablets, and other devices charged while camping int he backcountry these battery packs and portable power stations are rugged enough to survive while providing plenty of power too.
Home Theater

Roku adds automatic sign-out mode, for those with regular houseguests

Being able to use a Roku device while staying at a hotel or Airbnb is awesome. What is less awesome is leaving yourself signed in after you leave. With a new automatic sign-out feature, Roku is making it easier to relax.
Smart Home

Busted: Facebook Portal gets 5-star reviews from company employees

It's fair to say that Facebook's Portal smart display received a tepid response at launch, so it was something of a surprise to see lots of glowing reviews of the device on Amazon. Turns out some were written by Facebook workers.
Smart Home

Idaho mother says her child’s light-up sippy cup exploded

After a mother filled a Nuby insulated light-up cup with milk, the cup allegedly exploded. The incident caused burns to the mother's hand and face and a stinging sensation in her lungs that required a trip to the hospital.
Smart Home

The Instant Pot Lux is a gateway drug into the pleasures of pressure cooking

The 3-quart Instant Pot Lux is one of the most affordable Instant Pots you can buy. Is it still a solid pressure cooker? Here are our thoughts on the Instant Pot Lux, a great IP baseline model.
Smart Home

Project Alias is a ‘smart parasite’ that stops smart speakers from listening

Two designers chose to do something about nosy smart speakers. The result is Project Alias, a "smart parasite" that whispers nonsense to Google Home and Alexa until it hears a specific wake word.
Smart Home

DS3 Clean water-free swatches could be the future of cleaning products

DS3 Clean swatches were on display at CES 2019. The small swatches come in several types, including shampoo and toilet cleaner. They're great for travel, but their real impact is in how such supplies will be shipped and stored.
Smart Home

Amazon patents a technology to help Alexa fight fake voice attacks

Amazon filed a patent this month for a new technology that looks like it would help its digital assistant Alexa fight fake voice attacks that could potentially fool Alexa's biometric security protocols.
Smart Home

Amazon Prime members number more than 100 million in the U.S., survey says

Consumer Intelligence Research Partners estimated there were 101 million U.S. Amazon Prime members as of December 31, 2018. Last April, CEO Jeff Bezos wrote there were more than 100 global million Prime members.
Smart Home

With focus on interoperability, is Nevo Butler a smarter home hub?

Universal Electronics is the latest company getting into the smart home market, announcing at CES 2019 that it intends to market the Nevo Butler, a new smart home hub with onboard A.I. and voice control technology.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Google’s radar-sensing tech could make any object smart

Computer scientists have shown how Google’s Soli sensor can be used to make dumb objects smart. Here's why radar-powered computing could finally make the dream of smart homes a reality.