USB is everywhere. It's truly the Universal Serial Bus, with focus on
the "Universal" part. Every PC we can think of has at least one or two
of the ports, and just about every peripheral on the market supports
it. It's one of the few constants in the PC universe, but outside of
the PC world, there isn't' too much USB
to be had. Every now and then,
you'll find a USB socket within a vehicle (usually for iPod
connectivity), but have you ever seen one in a wall outlet?
FastMac is hoping that you'll soon be answering yes, as the company
will soon roll out a U-Socket that has built-in USB ports alongside the
typical AC power outlets. The product has been in development since at
least last year, but it has recently been redesigned in order to meet
the stringent safety requirements needed before it can be sold in
America. Energy Star qualifications have also now been passed, and the
U-Socket could very well change the landscape of how gadgets are used
in the home.
The U-Socket was mainly designed in order to provide charging ports for
USB devices as well as typical devices that use AC power. Americans
have been buying up portable electronics at a record pace, so there's a
growing need for having widely accessible USB charging nearby. What's
most unique about the U-Socket is that each port is also USB 3.0, so
there's the possibility that you could link up some sort of in-home USB
network as well. Each port also supports 10-watt charging, so iPad
other high-draw devices can charge through this as well.
The device should be clear for shipment by the fall of this year, and
each outlet will cost just under $20. Not bad at all, particularly for
use in your "man cave" or "gadget den."