thingCHARGER is a simple, elegant new way to charge all your things. Just plug it into any outlet and you'll have a neat charging station — free of ugly wires.
Charge any phone, any tablet, any reader from any brand.
Plug 2 or 3 thingCHARGERs together and charge all your things at once.
Watch the video above, and fall in love again.
Patent Pending Design featuring:
The worldwide device charging standard.
Charge anything USB. Smartphone, Tablet, Reader... Samsung, Apple, HTC, Motorola, LG, Nokia, Sony, Kindle... anything.
Interchangable Tips – Store in the Back
Tips swap in seconds so they're never lost, always ready to charge any device, from any brand.
Unlike the 'wireless' chargers, see below...
'Disappears' into the wall outlet.
Keeps Outlets Free to Use
Full power from both outlets.
Frees up Desk and Counter Space
And saves from coffee spills.
2 Regular USB outlets
Hiding underneath, just in case.
Plug 2 or 3 Together – Charge All Your Things At Once
Plug 2 or 3 thingCHARGERs together to make a compact charging station.
Green by Design
Uses no power when not in use.
Green from the start. And at the end.
Astonishing Referral Program
Green from the start. And at the end.
thingCHARGER ships with Micro & Mini-USB and the Apple 30-pin. Lightning is an optional extra.
(There's an exhausting, if not exhaustive, list of devices we'll charge at the foot of this page).
If you have a USB device, thingCHARGER will charge it.
These days there's only a handful of connectors needed to cover just about every smartphone, tablet and reader on the market.
The Secret is in the Tips
thingCHARGER will ship with Apple 30-pin, Micro-USB and Mini-USB tips with Apple Lightning as a $9 optional extra. If you have different devices which use different tips you can either just switch tips in seconds (they store neatly in the back) or plug 2 or 3 thingCHARGERs together to charge several different devices at once.
There's over a billion (yes, one billion) devices on the planet that can charge with thingCHARGER. (At the foot of this page we have a rather long list of just some of the models.)
Lightning Tips $9 Optional Extra
If you choose to support us and want to charge any of the newer Apple devices please add $9 to your contribution for each Lightning Tip you'd like.
(We hate charging extra for Lighting, but we have to — see below).
We couldn't agree more. Let's be honest. There are countless powerstrips out there, and even more chargers. A few even have interesting designs. But something cool surrounded by a mess of wires doesn't look cool. It just looks messy.
With thingCHARGER, we wanted to create a design that looks great when in use, not just when you take it out of the box. A design so utterly simple, so essential, that although it is completely new, it feels utterly familiar — as though you've used and loved it all your life.
thingCHARGER's unique design makes life just a little simpler. A bit less cluttered, a touch more organized. It's not the only charger you'll ever need. But it is hands-down the best-designed you'll ever own.
Sometimes an oddly-placed outlet is the perfect spot for thingCHARGER.
Love Great Design?
What about Un-Design?
One last design point. Most objects (whether or not you like their design) occupy 'visual space', meaning they introduce something where previously there wasn't anything. You had an empty table, then you placed a lamp on it. Gorgeous or ghastly, the lamp replaces 'space' with 'lamp' in your visual field.
thingCHARGER's design is extremely rare in that it looks the same as the item it 'replaces' in the visual field. So when you plug it into the wall outlet it is essentially invisible when viewed from the front and its slim profile means its visual impact is negligible from all other angles.
thingCHARGER can be almost invisible.
Plug 2 or 3 thingCHARGERs together, and charge all your things at once.
How to Charge Your Device
1: Place your device gently on top of thingCHARGER
2: Touch the ON button.
3: Notice how simple and uncluttered this part of your life now feels.
(More fun with so-called 'wireless' chargers further down the page!)
Other chargers use power when they are not in use. thingCHARGER has a simple switch with an LED
so you know when charging is on. Just touch to turn it off as you grab your thing and go.
True Wire-less Charging
Some folks are all excited about the idea of wireless charging. Without getting too technical, its fair to say that charging things through thin air is an idea whose day has yet to come.
You see today's 'wireless' chargers have a fatal flaw: wires. And getting set up is expensive. Ater shelling out for the charger, you still need to buy a separate, proprietary charging case or attachment for each and every device you own. Then, in use, they take up counter space, and leave you looking at ugly wires.
thingCHARGER charges any device without any wires. Isn't that really what you want from wireless charging?
So-called 'wireless' chargers have a fatal flaw. Wires.
How Does it Work?
Very simply. Just plug thingCHARGER into any wall outlet. The regular outlets on the front are live whenever your wall outlet is.
The USB outlets (on the underside, so hidden when not in use) and the device-tip on the top are live whenever thingCHARGER is switched on.
OK, How Does it Work Inside?
Truth be told, this isn't rocket science. Going from mains AC voltage down to the 5 volts DC needed for USB charging is a 'commodity' in the manufacturing world, involving nothing more than a standard transformer with some control electronics on a little circuit board. Our specialist manufacturer has shipped hundreds of millions of these.
It's the outside of thingCHARGER — its elegant industrial design — that took all the hard work. It's the reason, we believe, that anyone who's seen a thingCHARGER is so enthusiastic.
Where We Are Now
Ready to go.
We have completed the industrial design - and spent months testing (and more importantly using) prototypes and refining thingCHARGER from great to delightful.
Our specialist American production partner - a highly experienced power supply engineering and manufacturing company — is ready to complete the final production design and guide thingCHARGER through UL certification, before tooling up at the factory and getting your pack of thingCHARGERs shipped as soon as possible.
(Please allow up to 4.5 Seconds)
1: Choose the tip you need for your device and
pop it in the top of thingCHARGER (2 seconds)
2: Store the unused tip neatly in the back (1 second).
3: Plug thingCHARGER into a suitable outlet (1.5 seconds).
Here's a summary of the 'perks' we are offering for different levels of support of our launch campaign:
Future Plans: International Awaits
Within 24 hours of publishing our Facebook page we had countless requests from around the world asking for thingCHARGER to fit outlets in different countries.
Electrical outlets vary widely around the world, but the good news is that the core design benefits of thingCHARGER apply anywhere — plug it in the wall, put your thing on top, plug in more than one, USBs underneath. The overall shape will differ to match the shape of the local wall outlets, but the principles remain the same. The electronics and tips will be exactly the same and the packaging almost identical.
As soon as we have the US design shipping we plan to develop thingCHARGER for the UK, Europe and other markets.
How thingCHARGER Came About
Plug 2 or 3 together and
thingCHARGER's story starts with a classic: the unwanted spousal Christmas gift.
For Christmas 2012, Amy gave Seymour one of those solar-chargers with lots of connectors for different devices. It was a very thoughtful and much appreciated gift, but after playing with it for a week Seymour (guiltily) concluded that his loving wife's thoughtful gift was likely to spend its life on the shelf. It went to eBay. But the bug to find a neat way of charging everything was born.
Over the next few weeks Seymour bought an array of different charging solutions to 'set up' the household to handle all their devices and those of any visitors.
He installed an in-wall outlet with built-in USB (needs an electrician and maybe a carpenter or mason if your wall outlet boxes aren't big enough).
He tried all kinds of rechargable packs and wires with multiple tips. Many were junk - all were messy.
Then one day fooling around with an 'award winning' design that wobbled, had messy wires and a host of other flaws, it dawned on him that a simple box which allowed a device to stand on top would solve all the problems...
Amy agreed: "Most of your ideas are pretty dumb" she said lovingly, "but we should work on this one."
So after boring everyone to tears just talking about it for a few days Seymour disappeared into the basement one evening and emerged a while later speckled with white plastic dust, fingers partially bonded by adhesive… but with the first, very basic thingCHARGER prototype. The vision was born...
Supply Chain and Logistics
Many crowd-funded campaigns have encountered problems taking their prototypes to production. We take this extremely seriously.
From the start we knew our core team strength lay in the developing and refining the design of thingCHARGER and honing it until it is now near-perfect. We're also pretty good at communicating its benefits. But things like factory quality control, negotiating with component fabricators on all corners of the globe and supply chain logistics are really hard even for folks who do it all the time... and insanity for anyone else. So…
How Will thingCHARGER Get Made?
We've partnered with an amazing American company headquartered just an hour away from our base in New York and with offices in the UK, France, Germany and China.
For two decades they have specialized in power supplies — transformers that convert electricity from one voltage to another — and delivered over a hundred million of them to many of the world's top tech brands. They have a team of 30 engineers working right here in America perfecting power supply design. So prototype design, testing, process development, management and electrical spec are all done right here in the US. And they wholely own and manage the factory to retain complete control over manufacturing.
Their operation is certified by countless international safety agencies including UL, CSA, NEMKO, DEMKO, TUV, VDE, PSE, Korea as well as CCC to Medical, Information Technology Equipment and other specifications.
Watch the AWESOME bit in the video where the tips swap out then store in the back... and more:
Why ask $9 Extra for the Lightning Tip ?
Each Lightning Tip must contain an
We really wish didn't have to.
The challenge is that when Apple switched to the new Lightning connector they didn't just change the external design, they added in a special chip.
Some factories are producing cheap Lightning connectors by 'reverse-engineering' Apple's chip, but already reports are coming in that these connectors are made obsolete as Apple upgrades iOS to thwart the conterfeiters.
Because not everyone needs Lightning and it adds significant production cost, we decided to make it an optional extra and keep costs down.
- Please add $9 to your contribution for each Lightning Tip you'd like.
Two USB Outlets Underneath
(Just in case...)
thingCHARGER all about getting rid of usb wires everywhere, but we know there are times when you may just have to plug something in.
So, as long as you promise to only use them occasionally, we've included 2 USB outlets underneath... hidden from view.
What's the money for?
If you've never brought a product to market, you can't imagine how the costs pile up.
At thingCHARGER we are working tight and lean keeping expenses incredibly low — yet still there are some significant costs that can't be avoided. Here are the primary ones:
- Electrical Design Completion
- Final Prototyping
- UL Certification
- Production Tooling
- Initial minimum production run
- Patent & Trademark protection
We think the kitchen is the perfect spot. Even under cabinets there's
usually plenty of room for phones, readers & iPods.
How safe is thingCHARGER?
thingCHARGER will be UL Certified.
thingCHARGER will be 'UL Certified' — the gold standard of electrical equipment safety.
UL certification is slow and expensive, but we think nothing is more important than delivering a product that puts safety first.
When to Expect Delivery
We plan delivery for Q1 2014.
Why so long? Even for a product as seemingly simple as thingCHARGER there's a series of critical steps which in some cases should not be rushed and in others simply cannot be.
UL certification (see above) is critical to delivering a world-class product. The trouble is you can't submit a product for certification until every minute detail of the electrical design is complete, which itself requires time and care.
Once we submit to UL it can vary hugely in the time it takes, and you can't tool up the factory until UL is in place, because you'd have to re-tool if UL required modifications.
Please trust that we'll do everything we can to speed the process – and keep you updated as we go.
Risks & Challenges
Any new project carries significant risks.
Having said that we've worked hard to minimize the risks and anticipate the challenges.
The greatest risk, truthfully, is the greatest risk for any new venture: shortage of funds.
thingCHARGER will move ahead regardless of how much we raise with this campaign. Nonetheless, a highly successful campaign will allow us to:
- Commence final design sooner
- Gain traction ahead of the competition
The bottom line is that if you like what we're doing and can afford to support us, the best way to help us minimize the risk is to support thingCHARGER now by clicking on one of these:
Thanks for looking.
If you love thingCHARGER, or just love to see the entrepreneurial spirit thrive, please help us get this amazing project off the ground.
Every $1 helps, and telling people helps too. (We've got an awesome referral program, by the way.
Thank you for checking out thingCHARGER. The awesome new charger for all your things.
Need we say more?
I'm having trouble making my contribution payment.
We don't control the checkout process, that's our friends here at Indiegogo who run this site.
Please note that some of the fields like 'Country' and 'State/Provice/Region' aren't the usual pull-down menu but instead you just start typing to see suggestions.
It usually works if you are careful and patient. If you you need more please email email@example.com
What should I add for shipping?
Simple. We're asking please:
- $5 for US Shipping
- $10 for Canada
- $15 for anywhere outside North America
Just add the appropriate amount when you're ready to contribute now.
Do I need Lightning Tips - How much are they?
If you want to charge any of the newer Apple devices listed here on top of thingCHARGER (rather than with wires and the USB outlets on the underside), you'll need a Lightning Tip. Please add $9 for each Lightning Tip you want.
Apple devices which use Lightning:
- iPhone 5S, 5C, 5
- iPad Air (the new 5th generation iPad)
- iPad 4th Generation (late 2012)
- iPad Mini (all models)
- iPod nano 7th gen and newer
- iPod touch 5th gen and newer
So how do I figure out my total ?
Just add together the perk level you want + $9 for each Lighting Tip (if any) + a contribution to shipping and handling please:
87 (chosen perk level)
18 (if you want TWO x Lightning Tips @ $9)
+ 5 (towards US shipping. $10 for Canada, $15 worldwide please)
$110 contribution please.
What if I've already contributed and forgot to add extra for Lightning Tips... or Shipping... or just got the math wrong?
THANK YOU for contributing and... don't worry about it:
Before we ship we'll confirm with you and we can easily make any adjustments then.
I can't wait! When will you ship?
The faster we raise contributions the sooner we can commence the timeline from here to shipping. Right now we plan to ship in Q1 2014. For more please read When to Expect Delivery higher up on this page.
Why did you choose 'Flexible Funding'?
We didn't want to and would love to change it because we feel it doesn't send the right message (we've been 100% confident of hitting $25k all along.)
But due to some quirks of the Indiegogo payment system we were advised to do flexible just before we launched and Indiegogo doesn't allow us to switch back now the campaign has begun.
I've heard Apple's MFi program is very strict and doesn't always allow products to include Lightning.
We're talking to Apple about how best to integrate Lightning. There's several ways of doing it, we're just working to optimize the product for all parties. Whatever the outcome of these discussions, you'll be able to charge your Apple Lightning devices with thingCHARGER.
Are the tips strong enough to do the job?
It's a very fair question and we’ve put a lot of thought into this. Seymour, our Co-Founder & Co-inventor) studied Engineering at Oxford University so is very familiar with the issues of stress fractures in materials.
It's all to do with the flexibility of the structure. In simple terms stiff materials put a lot more strain on things than flexible ones. (That's why airplane wings flap like crazy during turbulence - to minimize the stresses on the airframe)
The connection itself is pretty ‘tight’ so our tips are designed to be both firm enough to fully support the mounted device - AND ‘give’ a little as devices are put on and taken off.
We’ve seen no damage to any device in many months with our prototypes, and we are also not the only folks to offer a ‘vertical’ charge in this way. A number of others do it, just a lot less elegantly we believe.
The forces acting on the connector are well within range for smaller devices and for larger ones like tablets we advise only that they be mounted on a thingCHARGER directly plugged into the wall (rather than another thingCHARGER) because the tips are very slightly angled both to allow better screen display, and to allow larger devices to rest against the wall.
What happens if you don't raise enough money?
With a project like this there's many different levels of 'enough', because there's a whole bunch of cost and processes from here to delivery.
The short answer is that, per Indiegogo's recommendation, we'll raise in stages if we have to, making the maximum progress we can on the raise from the first stage, then raising again soon after.
Why would a second campaign work better than a first?
Unless you've done a crowdfunding campaigns you can't imagine how much there is to do and learn. To be honest designing the product and having it manufactured is child's play compared with everything that goes into a successful campaign like this, and there's dozens of things (none to do with thingCHARGER itself – all to do with running a campaign) that we can do better if we need to go out again.
When will you make one for my country? I'd support you today if you did!
Thank you – that means a LOT.
To get a project like this off the ground requires a lot of focus. Even big companies generally start out with a single version of a product, both to keep inventory management managable and to learn what customers really want before expanding.
We're looking forward to doing many other versions of thingCHARGER for non-US outlets, please be patient while we get our first version flying.
(And if you really love thingCHARGER we'd be very grateful for a contribution to this launch project even if you don't choose one of the US-outlet of thingCHARGER perks!)
My outlets are horizontal. Will you make one for them?
Its kind of the same answer as above. Once thingCHARGER 1.0 is up and running we'd love to have dozens of other versions – for now we're serving the regular, vertical, 'twin', US-style outlet.
What are the terms of the 'first 300 get an extra one free' deal?
Simple. We'll add one thingCHARGER to whatever we're shipping to each of the first 300 contributing individuals, one per household.
What about power use?
thingCHARGER makes only a small difference to the load on any outlet. (Maximum 1/2 amp on an outlet rated at least 15 amps).
What if my outlet is old and wobbly?
Hmmm. An 'old and wobbly' outlet isn't going to be a great spot for your thingCHARGER (and sounds kind of dangerous anyway.)
What if my electric circuits blow fuses all the time?
That's really a question for an electrician – thingCHARGER uses only a tiny amount of power when in use (and none when switched off), but if your circuit is already fully loaded the miniscule amount of power we draw could theoretically be the extra that carries you over the limit.
thingCHARGER works great in any regular outlet. Electrically it is really just the same as a small powerstrip and a charger – just much nicer to look at.
How many can I stack or plug together?
No more than 3 please, and if you have a large item like a tablet, put it on the inside nearest the wall.
I LOVE this product and want to tell everyone.
What should I do?
Thank you, we'd LOVE you to do that!
Just under the video at the top of this page are a bunch of social media buttons and links, and...
You're still reading?
OK here's the Provisional Technical Specifications and both the Country and Device Compatibility Guides.
Provisional Tech Specs
Country Compatibility Guide
thingCHARGER™ will work in many other countries in addition to the USA. It handles inputs from 108 to 252 volts AC — which covers pretty much every country in the world.
However, it must be used with a secure twin wall outlet of the kind shown above.
All the countries below use this type of outlet in one form or another. thingCHARGER will work when the two outlets are vertically aligned as shown with 38mm/1.5in distance between the tops of the two outlets.
Device Compatibility Guide.
If it is USB device you can charge it with thingCHARGER™.
Here's a list of just some of the things your thingCHARGERs will charge.
(Hint: All your things are in here somewhere...)
© and Patent Pending CTRN Life U LLC, All Rights Reserved, 2013
Team on This Campaign:
The awesome new charger for all your things.
Launch Event Coordinator
Website & Indiegogo Launch Developer
Amy Rau Segnit
Co-Inventor, Co-Founder, Visual Designer
Legal and Business Affairs
The Creative Type
Branding & Communications
Video Director & Editor
Chief Campaign Strategist