back to article Flat-pack plug designer wins top award

Young designer Min-Kyo Choi has bagged the Design Museum-backed Brit Insurance Design Award 2010 for his novel take on Britain's bulky three-pin power plug. Choi's design, which Reg Hardware featured back in June 2009, packs the standard UK plug in to a flat unit 48 x 44 x 10mm. The Choi Plug Design Award winner: Choi's …


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  1. James Pickett


    Who would have thought that the awful 13A plug design could be turned into something elegant?

  2. Bonce
    Thumb Up

    Well deserved

    I was gobsmacked when I saw a video presenting this design a few months back, it's a long time since I've seen a product design that's made me say "WOW" like that.

    A massive improvement to the function AND form of the standard three pin plug in my opinion and I really, really hope that Choi gets the recognition he deserves and that we are able to get plugs like this on consumer products from every manufacturer.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    doesn't look safe to me!

    ... just look what it did to those wall sockets!

  4. Si 1


    I'm really pleased this design has been recognised, I saw this about a year ago and I've been waiting for it to find its way to my favourite gadgets. I'm really tired of having chargers that fold up nicely but have a bloody great UK plug on the end that makes packing them in carry cases a real problem.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Waste of fucking time

    They shouldn't be handing out awards until the thing actually works and is BS approved.

    1. Hermes Conran

      Isn't it

      an award for design??

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ins't it

        Sure, it is easy to come up with smart arse design for something if you don't actually have to make it work. The hard part is making it manufacturable, and safe. That work that will need to be done by someone who has knowledge of materials and manufacturing processes, i.e. someone with a *real* degree. Until that is done this very clever piece of design is utterly pointless.

  6. Dazed and Confused

    But when can I buy one

    Has she got "type approval" for it yet.

    Is she allowed to sell it?

    Is anyone going to make it?

    Like all the best ideas it is so obvious once you've seen it. It is a wonderfully simple design and an answer to a real problem. The plug for my netbook is a real pain.

    (Mind the power supply for my new full sized laptop is so big it damn near needs wheels, so an elegant mini plug is hardly needed there)

    1. Mark Aggleton
      Thumb Down


      The judges praised 'his' design.....

  7. mwk
    Thumb Up

    If they're safe

    he deserves to get rich.

  8. Joel Mansford
    Thumb Up

    Let's hope we see them on laptop supplies

    Many years ago I worked for a laptop repairer and used to see lots of smashed screens where basically the 3-pin plug had been put in the outer compartment of the laptop bag and an impact had pushed it through on to the screen.

    This would stop that - well done!

    1. Matt 13

      you earn too much...

      to willingy cut of a nice little revenue stream like that! lol!!!

  9. SlabMan


    Can't help looking at the folded plug and thinking, why not move the holes in the socket inline to match, and save space. The foldy-plug would fit both old and new sockets.

    1. Hermes Conran

      If you look at the original

      article on Reg in June he has designed a socket just like that!

    2. DavyBoy79

      If I remember the original video

      That was one of the proposals they'd had, was a smaller n-gang adaptor, using the folded up design

  10. Paul 25

    Is this actually going to go into production at some point?

    Ever since I first saw this idea I've wanted one for my laptop. It would make the power brick much more portable.

  11. blackworx
    Thumb Up


    Brit mains plugs/sockets have always been safest. Now they're also the coolest.

    1. Neoc

      I beg to differ

      Australian sockets are just as safe - you absolutely can't force a plug in the wrong way.

      Having said that - nice plug (love the folding) but I can't help feel it'd be nicer if the handle could fold flat when the plug was in use, to minimise the amount it juts out from the wall.

      1. blackworx

        Not so much

        Plugging a fused appliance into an AC supply "the wrong way" only becomes a hazard when there's a fault.

        Got a few Aussie bits and pieces in the house that we use with adaptors. Compared to Euro plugs they're not bad, and at least Oz wall sockets are switched, but you can still poke metal objects in there too easily. The plugs ain't fused either which can create a fire hazard if a fault develops in a low-power appliance which causes it to draw more current than the cable is rated for.

      2. Rattus Rattus
        Thumb Up

        Size of plugs

        I've honestly never understood why UK plugs are so absolutely ginormous. The plugs here in Australia carry the same voltage and current and they're half the size or less. And we don't see any higher a rate of auto-Darwinism with our power supplies.

        Nevertheless, this is a really cool design, probably better than our Aussie plugs too!

        1. blackworx


          Oz plugs were only rated 10A?

  12. RichyS
    Thumb Up

    Very Cupertinean

    Nice that he designed it ready to go for Apple. They won't have to change anything to fit in with their 'house style' for their power adapters.

    More seriously, hopefully we'll be able to buy these soon as it's a real pain fitting a standard UK plug into my laptop bag.

  13. Steve Evans


    Always likes the look of this...

    Now if only it got BS or CE approval and a distribution deal...

    Oh, and don't dodge making that slim multiplug either!

  14. Dr Richard

    A great future at Apple awaits....

    Neat design and in very Appletastic colours, just the thing for Jonny Ives to want to use.

    I wonder how you would manually wire one though?

  15. Hywel Thomas

    Yes, yes..

    ... but when can we buy them ? I want 3. Yesterday.

  16. Sampler

    Can I enter next years...

    ..with a socket compatible with the folded up version so you don't have to bother with the faff.

    Then the year after a socket that's compatible with both the regular plug and flat plug..

    Now, nearly two years to think of what to put in the year after (that sounds wide open to innuendo)..

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Next year

      A foldable wall with a socket? There's never a socket when you need in a cafe..


  17. Ben Boyle
    Thumb Up


    ... when can we expect to see these hit the market? I'd LOVE to be able to pack my carry on and laptop cases with these rather than having to fudge the current plugs in.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    this is a title

    meethinks a more elegant solution would have involved ditching that overengineered crap you brits call plug and replacing it with something along the lines of something Europlug compatible.

    At least this design fits my coats pocket nicely

    1. John 73
      Thumb Down


      Europlug is (a) low current and more importantly (b) has no Earth connection. How so many countries around the world have accepted unearthed mains connections I will never understand.

  19. Anonymous Coward


    I bet the designers of laptop power supplies will be one of the first to adopt this type of plug,

    The psu is always a bug bare when fitting a laptop into a case. it

    I bet the designer will not get a job at apple though.... the fuction is deffinately more important than form in this case....

    Mines the one without the unsightly bulge !!!

  20. bluesxman


    But I wonder how many numpty calls to customer services/tech support will be spawned as a result of the power cord having "some weird foreign plug on it"?

    Cynical. Moi?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    What an excellent idea! Provided that this new plug is robustly built, I will definitely buy a few. Brilliant!

  22. GrahamT
    Thumb Up


    I thought it looked good when you showed the prototype. It looks even better now it's in production.

    We get used to seeing something commen as being how it has always been and always will be. The genius here is in being able to see beyond that and create a completely new design that meets all the old requirements while being better than the original.

    Well done that man.

  23. Anonymous Coward


    I'm sceptical as to whether or not that thing would either pass safety approvals or handle 13 Amperes.

    Flames, well because I think it would be a fire starter!

  24. Johnny G

    He also wins....

    ... the Grubbiest Double Socket Award

  25. mccp
    Thumb Up

    I want one now!

    The post is required, and must contain letters.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That is such a nice workaround to safety numpties

    But since the earth pin isn't needed for unearthed devices, and since those devices are usually shipped in Europe with a small 2 pin plus. A simple flat peg two pin plug and a plastic key to open the shutter are all that's really needed. No special need for a rotating thing.

    So if the safety numpties block this, you may aswell sell the two pin thing in Europe for Brits to take home with them.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      You obviously haven't experimented with UK mains sockets much.

      If you use a screwdriver (or similar device) to poke in the earth socket and release the shutter, you can then just plug a schuko (euro) plug straight in - the spacing matches up and the pin height it very similar.

      1. Sooty

        strangely enough

        most people haven't experimented with sticking screwdrivers in UK mains sockets.

    2. blackworx

      Way to go

      Encouraging people to defeat built-in safety features. I thought El Reg had a more intelligent readership than that.

    3. RichyS
      Thumb Up

      Easy solution

      You don't need a special safety key. Those wooden stirrers from Starbucks (other overpriced coffee shops are available) work perfectly! My German (former) colleagues use them all the time.b

  27. Dick Emery

    When can I buy it!

    Seriously. This needs to get to market pronto. They will make an absolute fortune from it.

    Coat becaause I am itching to buy one!

  28. jake Silver badge

    Oh. My. Gawd/ess.

    You lot are still using those clunky, archaic things for mains power?

    George VI is DEAD! Do grow up and join the 21st century, there's a good country.

    1. blackworx


      Are you speaking from under a bridge? I hope so.

      Considering the sub-standard designs the rest of the world has come up with, I'm glad ours is functional and safe, and not something my (nonexistent) 3 year old can stick a teaspoon into and instantly fry themselves.

      Christ, Europe had to "ban" banana plugs because they fit perfectly into their crappy non-shuttered, non-switched socket designs.

      Oh, and it's not just the UK that uses BS1363. If we're to "be a good country" then you'd better get on with asking Ireland, Sri Lanka, Bahrain, UAE, Qatar, Yemen, Oman, Jordan, Cyprus, Malta, Gibraltar, Botswana, Ghana, Hong Kong, Macau, Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, Nigeria, Mauritius, Iraq, Kuwait, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, Belize, Dominica, St. Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines and Grenada to be a good country too.

      PS: Good luck with Zimbabwe.

      PPS: Yes I really am that sad.

      1. jake Silver badge


        "Are you speaking from under a bridge? I hope so."

        No. I'm not trolling. Not this time (yes, I do occasionally (OK, maybe more than occasionally ...) ... it appeals to my Yank/Brit/Finn derived sense of humo(u)r ... so shoot me ;-)

        "Considering the sub-standard designs the rest of the world has come up with, I'm glad ours is functional and safe, and not something my (nonexistent) 3 year old can stick a teaspoon into and instantly fry themselves."

        What happens if your BS 1363 is plugged into the base-board-mounted socket upside down (ground-pin only)? Can you "stick a teaspoon" into the socket? There are other ways to defeat the so-called "protection", especially if you are a curious toddler ... and I guarantee that that standard 13 amp fuse isn't going to help much if little Buffy or Biff gets lucky ...

        My (existing, now aging) toddler was protected from any such mishaps 25 years ago by whole-house GFI breakers in the power distribution box on the house side of the power meter. She survived childhood, and Uni. Now she's on her own ... and made installation of GFI a condition of sale when she bought her own house and started her own family.

        The clunky Brit standard 13 A plug & socket is nearly a half century out of date.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Bullshit Mr Safety Numpty

        European sockets have shutters too, and teaspoons don't fit the hole.

        Europe has NOT banned banana plugs, pushing a single plug in would NOT open the shutter, and UK has no 'switch' requirement on it's sockets either.

        And yes, a bunch of small countries and ex-UK colonies are the only people who use the UK plug.

        Your safety problems are as imaginary as your 3 year old.

        Oh and there's even a truly awesome child lock you can put on them that requires a complex rotation and insert, isn't available to the UK plugs because of the UK's poor clumsy design.

        Really this man is designing to get around numpties like you. Because without you, UK sockets would support 2 pin unearthed devices just as they do in Europe without the plastic pin. The shutters could open on balanced pressure just like the Euro sockets do and the plastic sleeve long ago made the big plastic plate irrelevant.

        Your plug has evolved but only to satisfied safety numpties, not users. And I expect those safety numpties to try to kill this plug too.

        1. blackworx

          No bullshit

          @ Anonymous Coward

          I have teaspoons that fit the holes in Euro/Schuko sockets, and anyway it was just an example.

          I should have been clearer about banana plugs... Dual banana plugs of the type used in hi-fi are prohibited in Europe because they can be inserted into Euro plugs. Regardless, a banana plug is just another example of something that fits perfectly.

          I have seen more unshuttered euro sockets than I have seen shuttered. In fact, every time I visit mainland Europe I seem to see broken/cracked wall sockets, plugs with wires hanging out and high current devices being used where they shouldn't.

          Congratulations on your wee rant though, and thanks for the name calling.

          And to the folk banging on about GFI, it's not the be-all and end-all.

          1. jake Silver badge


            "And to the folk banging on about GFI, it's not the be-all and end-all."

            Whole-house and/or per-circuit GFI works. Even with two pin "ungrounded" plugs. And cracked/broken Georgian Bakelite sockets. Or knob and tube, for that matter. Regardless of current/voltage. Always. End of discussion. I'm sorry if that gets in the way of your understanding of reality, but it is the truth nonetheless.

            HTH, HAND.

            1. blackworx
              Paris Hilton

              End of discussion?

              If you say so

    2. Puck

      Crappy two pin sockets and crappy standards

      George VI is indeed dead, but not, I gather, due to electrocution, nor being burnt to death by a short-out fire. Quaint, I know, but that is how we like things here.

      And to think our high standards of consumer protection don't even require a culture of private litigation, to come to a spluttering half-fruition, as in some countries which shall remain nameless!

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It might even convert the ones who push the wires into the socket with matchsticks! Though the only guy I ever actually _saw_ doing that, topped himself, which was probably the better solution. A real shame he didn't make the Darwins though!

  30. Stuart Adam
    Thumb Down

    But the pins still poke out.

    Slim plug may not actually be quite as slim but the pins end up being recessed so nothing poking out to damage bags/feet etc. Personally I would rate it far better than this design. Also not quite as flimsy as this design and already available on the high street. Got to love a design award for a piece of engineering being handed out by an Art crowd.

  31. Tony Hoyle

    Two thoughts when I saw it on TV..

    1. That looks like it'll be a bitch to wire up

    2. If someone walks past it and kicks it, it looks like the handle part will break off - in fact the whole thing looks rather flimsy.

    It looks pretty, but design mockups often do - I suspect the press are jumping the gun here.

  32. Cliff

    Bloody Brilliant!

    That's awesome. He deserves the win. The plug is also used in some other ex-colonies, it has a big potential market.

  33. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up


    That is neat.

  34. Anonymous Coward

    Plug Fail

    Square Peg - Round Hole. The design was fine as it was....3 pins into 3 square holes, there is nothing more simpler. Now its complicated.....what an arse !

    1. RichyS


      If you find that complicated, then you're the arse.


  35. Anonymous Coward

    Christ on a Crutch!!

    I wouldn't want to be within 100m of THAT socket when it was switched on!!!!!!

  36. Ian Yates
    Thumb Up

    Pretty good

    That actually looks like a useful design! Any chance we'll see it in the real world?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      None at all.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Well done...

    Have to admit I was all set to say "so what - who needs another new plug?". But actually I like it - it's neat and efficient and deserves to be widely adopted.

    Perhaps Mr Choi might now turn his attention to why I need a dozen similar low-voltage and/or recharging devices around my home - few of which identify which piece of kit they belong to, and all of which seem to do a similar job. Next project please?

    1. Brennan Young
      Thumb Up

      What John 186 said

      Yes, I am dreaming of a low voltage adaptor with multiple outputs, and where each output can have its own voltage and connector.

      I know you can get low voltage adaptors with switchable connectors and a voltage setting control, but it is scarcely a solution to the rather stupid problem of needing to use one high voltage power socket for every low voltage device. Maybe I just don't understand Ohm's law properly, but it seems like this should be technically possible.

      I seem to remember (from my rock band days) that guitar effects pedals (from certain manufacturers) could be chained together so that you only had to plug one of them into the wall.

      Maybe I was just stimulating my imagination too much back then, but I know we also had an open standard for digital music around 1983, which - extraordinarily - everyone agreed upon and still uses. Sometimes musicians have nifty ideas decades before the rest of the tech community has even realised which end its arse is pointing.

    2. Brennan Young

      OK, I wasn't dreaming

      The 'Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2 Plus '

      <> designed for guitar effects pedals (so it has a low hum circuit design), but could be used for any low-power devices, which run on voltages which are a multiple of 9. (You can combine two outputs for 18v, etc.) Brilliant!

      Expensive, though.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    I want one!

    No longer will my overseas colleagues mock my power cable! I'll be able to diss their crappy non-folding cables, or cables without earth wires.

    Get it in the shops (or on eBay) as soon as possible.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Never going to happen

      Exactly how would you wire one of these plugs on to an existing appliance?

  39. The Cube

    And it deserves to have won

    A brilliant idea, I hope it was patented before the college / Google or whoever else tries to steal the rights to it could get their lawyers on the case.

  40. SirTainleyBarking

    Still a nice idea

    But the question is of course, has it been bought up with a view to producing it. (In the UK would be nice)

    And second question

    And when is it coming to market?

  41. Paul 75

    Nice plug for laptop

    I'd like to see the rest of his house, if his wall sockets look like that!

  42. Anonymous Coward


    I lived in the UK for a long time and could never understand the need for the mega-beefy, over-engineered 13amp plug — 240v not withstanding.

    Then one day it came to me. During WW2 the Brits were really short of metal to build things like ships and tanks so asked people to send in scrap metal, pots, pans and so forth for the war effort.

    My theory is that the UK government designed the 13amp plug to be a cache of horded metal in the event the need arises again. Then they’ll tell all households to send in their plugs — maybe keeping just one to boil the kettle for tea.

    That’s my theory anyway and I’ve never heard a better one. ;)

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Yeah, cos...

      ...brass is so handy for making tanks!

      Also - mega beefy and over-engineered because in a fault situation UK ring main circuits can feasibly deliver 30A to just one socket, hence the need for a big chunk of sturdy insulation and room for a fuse (which IIRC is unique to our system).

  43. LinkOfHyrule

    That's one skanky socket

    You wouldn't get me plugging owt into that! I take it, its in an artists studio or just a really filthy house?

    1. RichyS

      Fecking Schtudent

      He's a student. All student houses look like that.

  44. Mobius

    The British Standards Institution...

    ...will never approve this design.

    Sorry, it's very clever but unsafe for mains electricity.

    1. RichyS


      Care to elaborate on why it's unsafe? Or are you just jumping to massive conclusions because the plastic looks a little bit thin in places?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        re: Why?

        Let's start with - It's a device for conducting mains rated voltages/currents and it has moving parts.

        Moving parts wear out.

        Mains voltage/current kills.

  45. Dale 3


    The plug is fantastic - can't wait to start seeing them in Maplin. But that socket is a nightmare! Hope that's not Vulture Central, or you've got a health & safety issue just looking for a lawyer!

  46. sam bo
    Thumb Up


    Great design - hopefully, robustness also designed into those hinges. I personally like the fully mouled plugs we use in Aus. What could possibly go wrong with an old and brittle folding plastic plug and 240v ?

  47. Diogenes

    Fail !

    It doesn't solve the main bugbear of any plug , the cord that it is attached to is always 1-3 inches too short for optimal placement.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I do wonder

    ..if the designer has made sure that the internal cable routing is such that if the cable were torn out (by some clumsy git tripping over it, and the strain relief failing due to Rays, for example), whether it would tear out in the correct order, with the live coming out, then the neutral, then the earth (if any)?

    ..this is one of the current more subtle characteristics of the UK plug..

    Yes, I'm getting it now, it's the one with the spiral bound notebook and flash of weak lemon drink in the pocket..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Nice to see

      It's nice to see someone who actually knows how to wire a plug, rather than thinks that it's just a case of matching up the cables.

  49. Anonymous Coward

    You have an awesome pair

    of wall sockets - took my eye more effectively than the plug thing

  50. Cheese


    It's not just a case of changing the plugs. The reason they are so clunky is that they need to be individually UK homes normally use a "ring main" electrical supply setup. The main breaker is set to the maximum current for the ring (so this be could be > 30A ).

    It all goes back to the UK being blown to s*#t in WWII...and not having much copper for wiring in the rebuild.

    1. jake Silver badge


      "It's not just a case of changing the plugs."

      I know. But sometimes I think the plugs are being used as an excuse to continue allowing archaic wiring standards ...

      "The reason they are so clunky is that they need to be individually fused..."

      That word "need", I don't think it means what you think it means ... I have seen plugs with built-in fuses that are the same size as my standard plugs (Xmas tree lights come to mind).

      "as UK homes normally use a "ring main" electrical supply setup."

      Never heard of GFI circuit breakers? Hell, my wife has a GFI protected hairdryer[1], with the GFI circuitry mounted in the plug. It's less than a third the size of the 13 A Brit standard.

      "The main breaker is set to the maximum current for the ring (so this be could be > 30A )."

      Bad wiring practices are bad wiring practices. And less than a tenth of an amp can kill you, without blowing the fuse.

      "It all goes back to the UK being blown to s*#t in WWII...and not having much copper for wiring in the rebuild."

      Stop living in the fucking past! Jesus H. Christ on a pogo stick, but you lot do tend to wear the war(s) on your sleeve, don't you? That was over two thirds of a century ago, and I'll bet nobody[2] reading this participated in, or even remembers it! ... George VI is STILL dead. As I said, grow up, join the 21st century, there's a good country.

      [1] It's her "traveling" hairdryer; some of the places we visit when looking for horses have what I would consider dodgy wiring ...

      [2] Statistically speaking, of course.

      1. blackworx


        Ring main is not archaic. It's a neat solution to a problem that turned out to be a good idea in its own right. If anything's archaic it's individually-wired sockets a la rest of world. And before you get back on your high horse I'm not equating archaic with bad like you are. I take my hat off to the BS technical panel who sat down and came up with BS1363 back in the 40's - which isn't actually all that long ago compared to some.

        "Stop living in the fucking past! Jesus H. Christ on a pogo stick, but you lot do tend to wear the war(s) on your sleeve, don't you?"

        Christ you weren't joking when you said you did occasionally indulge in trolling then, were you?

        1. jake Silver badge


          "It's a neat solution to a problem that turned out to be a good idea in its own right."

          No, it's not a good idea. It's a fucking abomination of electrical design. Think I'm wrong? Ask yourself this ... which countries use ring circuits in household wiring?

          Again, I'm not trolling (this time). Just trying to knock some sense into some rather thick heads. I'm probably tilting at windmills again ...

          1. blackworx

            "No, it's not a good idea."

            Again - if you say so, it must be true.

  51. SImon Hobson Bronze badge

    @AC 20:48

    Why, never saw that coming - yet another "why not ditch your wiring friendly and safe plug and use our terrible (relatively) dangerous crap plug instead" post. Yes, our 13A plug has a few faults (small size isn't one of it's plus points), but it has a lot going for it. We only need one or two circuits in the distribution board for an average house and everything is correctly fused for the cable connected.

    Switch to unfused plugs and you then have a messy radial wiring system (something we ditched back in the 1940's when the 13A plug was introduced) AND incorrectly fused cables. Mind you, there is one obvious retort to "why not use our continental plugs ... and that is "which one ?" A French one, a German one, one or more of the Italian ones, ....

    1. Trygve

      Ah yes, of course - safety with 1930's technology

      Such a huge consideration nowadays. How the swedish/dutch/germans/etc. must be cursing the hideous annual death toll exacted by their domestic wiring which has been using circuit breakers etc. for the last thirty years. Except they don't, because it all works just fine.

      Nowadays the advantages of the 3-pin plug really are theoretical more than practical - given the number of UK homes which still use rubbish old fuse boards (complete with wrong gauge wire, nails etc. carrying current) I think we are on average far less safe than most of the two-pinners in Northern Europe.

    2. Simon B

      @Simon Hobson - Actually it IS fused

      I remember the issue of no fuse was brought up on the original article and I recalled that there was one. Reading the original article it reads:

      'there’s a finger slot for pulling the plug out of the socket once you’re done. This section also contains the plug’s fuse – shown in red in the video.'

      So yes there IS a fuse still, it's jus been cleverly hidden in its design.

  52. Colin Guthrie

    Plug-Off in 3.... 2..... 1. Go!,39029552,49303764-1,00.htm

  53. Gordon is not a Moron

    You know it's a good idea when..

    you look at and think "Bloody hell, that's just so obvious. Why didn't I think of it first?"

  54. Richard Porter

    OK, but will they last?

    I assume these plugs are not rewirable. That's not a problem, but you don't say how the live and neutral pins are connected. This must either be by flexible wiring or more likely by contacts within the plug - presumably in the central part because the sides fold flat. This means that the current handling capacity is limited and there is potential for arcing due to wear or the ingress of dirt.

    One improvement to the design would be to provide a cover for the pins when in transit.

    The ring main system is fine where you have a lot of low powered devices such as with computers and entertainment equipment. High powered devices such as room heaters and kettles would be better served by separate circuits. However we now have so many wall warts that it would make sense to have houses wired with permanent low voltage circuits.

  55. Davidmb
    Thumb Up

    Plug can be used folded up

    As his multi-plug design demonstrates:

    I like that, a nice space-saver.

  56. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    I agree, don't hold your breath

    I think you'll wait a long time for this to be legal to use or to sell, except maybe as a novelty shelf ornament.

  57. Kevin Gordon 1

    I wish....

    Wouldnt it be great if the UK plug could be changed so that it looked like the folded flat version, with all the pins in line? Of course, it'll never happen...

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