Have you ever had a charger stick in your rib in an inside pocket? Or tear a hole into your favourite book if you carry a laptop or camera bag? Or if, like me, you use a rucksack to carry both around together nearly all of the time, then you already know the curse of the three pin plug.
Sometimes the simple solutions are the best. I have imported electronic gear across the Atlantic on a few occasions and even though battery chargers and other similar items often have a 100v-240v rating on the back, I have had to purchase a transformer like THIS ONE from Maplins.
The North American version of a wall plug is a tidy thing. Voltage adaptors often have the two pins built-in, and if you bring a new camera, pocket computer, iPaq or any other kind of electronic implement across the Atlantic, you’re struck by the simple elegance of the North american two-pin system compared to ours.
Here on this western tail end of Europe we have a bulky lump of plastic with three metal prongs that seem to inevitably poke holes in your camera bag or in one instance a laptop screen causing a very expensive repair.
Tonight while “Stumbling ” again, I came across the site of Min-Kyu Choi, a student in the Royal College of Art, London who had a design for a fabulous folding three pin plug prototype which not only is able to be folded almost completely flat removing the “Sticky-out” bits, but reduces the thickness of the obnoxious plastic lump to about 1 cm flat on the end of a cable.
Have a look at the video and also at the proposal for a new angle on the three-way adaptor.
If these things start going into production any time soon, you won’t see anyone cutting plugs off cables any quicker than me.