As ubiquitous as power banks might be, there will always come a time when you need the full power of a socket. Those are the times when you’ll discover to your dismay that most wall outlets are woefully ill-equipped to meet the demands of many people with multiple devices. Power strips with their multiple sockets exist for that very purpose, but they’re more like band-aid solutions, inelegant and often ineffective. Thankfully, there are quite a few bold new designs trying to rethink this mostly utilitarian tool, like this curious take on the power strip that literally bends convention into something a little more interesting and more convenient to use.
Designer: Michael Kritzer
“U” is for “unusual,” and that definitely describes the design of the ME-1 power strip concept. While most of its kind adopt a linear shape to reach more people across a table, this one is curved into a shape similar to that of a U-magnet. That association isn’t accidental either, because this power strip can actually stick to metallic surfaces as well, either hanging under tables or sticking off walls.
The change in form isn’t simply for novelty’s sake, though. For one, it saves up space compared to a typical rectangular or linear power strip, it is also visually more pleasant to look at, even with all cables coming out of it. There is also enough spacing between the alternating three-prong plugs and USB ports so there won’t be a problem with bulky plugs and chargers.
As for those cables, the U shape also gives owners a way to keep them in check by wrapping them around either of the “legs.” In fact, the strip’s own cable, which sticks out from the inner curve of the shape’s arc, can be looped around it to avoid ensnaring people’s feet or other objects around it.
While the ME-1 power strip concept does present a more captivating design compared to typical power strips, there are also some questions regarding its practicality. It saves up on horizontal space but it does stick out too much. This iteration also seems to cover only one side of the U shape, leaving the other half underutilized and wasted. Still, it’s an admittedly daring approach to re-imagining something we’ve mostly taken for granted to have a fixed design, and hopefully, the market will soon be filled with more interesting power strips, at least ones that don’t sacrifice utility for appearance’s sake.