Mu folding three-pin plug goes on sale

Mu folding three-pin plug goes on sale

Summary: The Mu power plug, which swivels the live and neutral pins out of the way to save space, is now available for pre-order after a design prototype was turned into an adapter for USB-chargeable devices

TOPICS: Emerging Tech

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  • The Mu plug open

    The designer of a folding power plug has turned the prototype into a USB adapter, the Mu, that can be used to recharge devices such as smartphones, tablets and cameras.

    The Mu, which went on pre-order on Friday, reduces the 4.5cm depth of a traditional three-pin plug to around 1cm using a pivot. The live and neutral pins rotate and the sides fold down to take up 70-percent less space, manufacturer Made In Mind said in a blog post.

    Min-Kyu Choi first showed off the folding plug design in 2009, before joining forces with Made In Mind. The PVT technology used for the pivot has been in development for three years and is protected by six global patents, according to the company.

    "I was frustrated by the dimensions of the traditional plug, and felt that the existing unit, which dates back to 1947, was out of touch and incongruous with modern design," Choi said in the blog post. "My idea was very simple — redesign the plug to bring it in line with the clean look and feel of today's technology, without compromising functionality."

    The Mu measures 14mm x 55mm x 60mm and is fully certified to comply with British Safety Standards regulations, according to Made in Mind.

    Image credit: Made In Mind

  • Mu plug closed

    While the Mu can refuel any USB-chargeable device, it cannot be used to recharge laptops and similar large items. However, the company said it is working on a range of new Mu products, including a laptop charger.

    Like any standard three-pin plug, it can be used abroad in conjunction with a standard travel adapter. The plug is on sale in the UK only, though there are plans to release it in "some overseas" locations in 2012 and 2013, Made in Mind said.

    The Mu was put up for pre-order on Saturday priced at £25 from the company's website. It is due to start shipping on 28 February, and will be sold in the Design Museum shop in London.

    Image credit: Made In Mind

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Topic: Emerging Tech

Ben Woods

About Ben Woods

With several years' experience covering everything in the world of telecoms and mobility, Ben's your man if it involves a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any other piece of tech small enough to carry around with you.

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  • Nothin' new here guys. Folding plugs have been available for some time. I use one of these. And it's much cheaper. It's also well tested in the place that matters, - by the end-users.

    It also handles a laptop charger, unlike this new one. Nice, pretty design, however in my experience as an engineer, designers are not quite the same as engineering designers. Less concerned with design awards, and more concerned with practicalities. Old cynic I know.
  • The new MU charger shares some of the design features of Min-Kyu Choi's ill fated and illegal design for a folding plug, but it is a CHARGER not a PLUG! To make it safe the wings are reversed, making it 40% thicker and making the multi-way adaptor he originally touted impossible. But there is still no space for a fuse to be safely fitted, so it cannot become a general purpose plug which is legal in the UK.
    Joe Joe-7f109