Product: The Mu Folding USB Adapter
Price: £25 (approx. $40)
What It’s Good For: Slimline smartphone charging.
Who It’s Good For: Anyone who wants a compact charging solution on the go.
Bottom Line: The Mu improves the traditional British plug with its innovative folding design.
A Look at The Mu
After its clever concept product design went viral, UK firm Made in Mind brought an altered version of the product to the British market.
In 2009, designer Min-Kyu Choi’s YouTube video (embedded above) showed a cunning concept that dramatically reduced the size and bulk of the British plug. Choi’s vision hit a chord with consumers, and was quickly shared online, covered by tech blogs around the world, and went on to win design awards.
Choi explains how the design came about. “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. 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.”
While a laptop charger is still in the works, the Mu, a folding USB adapter for smartphones, is now available for purchase in the British Isles.
A small, white device, the Mu folds out to reveal three prongs, two of which swivel to take the traditional plug shape, ready to charge your USB-powered smartphone. When folded down, the Mu is compact and (crucially) safe to chuck in your bag, without fear of the prongs damaging your kit.
At £25, the Mu is a pricey alternative to an iPhone USB plug (OEM versions can be picked up for a couple of pounds), but it is a price many design aficionados and digital nomads will be happy to pay. And if its fold-down design prevents the pain of stepping on an upended plug even once, it’s priceless.
1. The Packaging
The Mu’s sleek, white packaging and simple, curvy logo complements the slimline design of the device.
The name was crowdsourced from the original folding plug concept’s fan community.
Robin Freeman came up with “mu.” It’s Greek for “micro.”
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