PLUG-IN (Image courtesy BusinessWeek Online)By Andrew Liszewski

Besides the obvious benefit of making it easier to plug things in when you’re bending over I can instantly see many other advantages to this upgraded electrical outlet.

Designed by University of Notre Dame student Julia Burke the PLUG-IN managed to take the silver award in the Student Design category of this year’s IDEA Awards. Not only is the PLUG-IN design more convenient but it also helps prevent cords from accidentally being yanked out while at the same time making it easier to unplug them intentionally thanks to extra leverage. And anyone who has ever tried to plug two large adapters into a standard outlet will also appreciate the angled design.

The best part I think is that the PLUG-IN is designed as a face-plate that can be easily installed onto an existing outlet without the need for re-wiring.

[PLUG-IN @ BusinessWeek Online (#101)] VIA [Smart Stuff]


  1. Why no one thought of that before? Because dust and general debris will fall into it. If you’re ‘lucky’ you’ll spill some fluids in it, but years of dust behind a desk may be enough to get some nice sparks when you’re not there…

  2. Wall Outlet 2.0: Plug-In Design Minimizes Exposure to Plumber’s Ass…

    Taking home the Silver in the student design category of the Idea Awards, Plug-In by designer Julia Burke fits in a standard opening for electrical outlets. Its uplifted angle makes it easier to plug things into it, so when you’re……

  3. The people at the Ideas Awards probably also wonder why no one has invented a toaster oven for the shower. You know, so you can make breakfast while getting ready in the morning.

  4. I like it, it can’t be worse than the surge protectors I use to be able to plug in my large brick shaped plugs, which btw have all my outlets facing up. Plus if it goes into production it’d probably include the plug stoppers to cover up the outlets. But in earnest the complaint that things will fall in have as much weight as saying that if I droped enough coins my piggy bank will overflow. I mean come on unless all of you either do not own surge protectors or have then neatly mounted or upturned.

    Oh and sparks will only come if the dust makes a circuit.

  5. I think it looks pretty useful myself, and you could always guy a “reversed” version so that the plugs are facing downwards (if you’re afraid of dust).

  6. Intelligent Plug-In …

    Julia Burke, a student from Notre Dame, has designed an ingenious plug-in. Designed in order to make it convenient to use and also prevent cords from being accidentally yanked out. With all this one would wonder, how hard it will be to unplug these cho…

  7. useless. My cell phone charger wouldn’t fit in that at all. I doubt anything with a large plug would. The top of the plug would wedge against the plate before it was all the way plugged in.

  8. Take it easy, guys. If you used the outlet cover only on outlets you actually used and left the stuff plugged in, dust and water wouldn’t be problems any more than usual.