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.
Unique Patented Design featuring:
The worldwide device charging standard.
Charge anything USB. Smartphone, Tablet, Reader... Samsung, Apple, HTC, Motorola, LG, Nokia, Sony, Kindle, Fire Phone... anything.
Interchangable Tips –
Store neatly 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 your stuff 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
Tiny 'vampire' current when not charging.
Will it Charge All My Things?
thingCHARGER ships with Mini-USB and with Apple 30-pin on request. 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 a Micro-USB tip, the older Apple 30-pin on request and new Apple Lightning as an 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 Optional Extra
If you choose to support us and want to charge any of the newer Apple devices you'll need a Lightning Tip. Before we ship we'll be in touch and you can specify how many you need.
(We hate charging extra for Lightning, but we have to — see below).
Unique "Perfect" Design
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: Er, that's it.
3: Notice how simple and uncluttered this part of your life now feels.
How Does thingCHARGER Compare?
(More fun with so-called 'wireless' chargers further down the page!)
Chargers use power when they are not in use.
thingCHARGER uses the latest circuitry to all but eliminate wasted 'vampire' current.
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. After 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, the charging part 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.
Early supporters asked loud and clear that the tips be adjustable to work with different cases. We agree: you shouldn't have to take off your case every time you want to charge - and cases are all different thicknesses.
So we're making the tips slimmer than you're seeing them here and building in a unique height adjustment mechanism...
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
Thanks to our early supporters, thingCHARGER is already well underway.
We have completed the industrial, electrical and mechanical design - and spent months refining thingCHARGER from great... to delightful.
Right now we are tooling. Tooling means making the molds that are used in manufacturing.
This main tool:
- Takes 10-12 weeks to make
- Costs about US$30,000
- Will be the size of your washing machine
- And weigh half as much as your car!
Other smaller tools will take as long but cost and weigh less. We need several of those to make the tips and some internal parts - and they'll be made at the same time.
As soon as the tool is ready we'll be in for 'ETL' safety and standards certification (time for this varies from 8-12 weeks or so) and then production can start.
Initially the factory can produce 8-10,000 units/week – but this can and will be increased if there is sufficient demand.
(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:
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.
Now that we're so close to shipping the US version we're going to finalize thingCHARGER for the UK, Europe and other markets... Watch for a new International campaign coming soon!
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...
Late in 2013 we launched our first crowdfunding campaign. thingCHARGER quickly became the all-time #1 crowdfunded mobile accessory, raising over $640,000.
We're continuing the campaign now because so many folks seem to want to get their hands on thingCHARGER and now that manufacturing is underway we feel great coming back to the crowd!
How is thingCHARGER Getting Made?
We've partnered with P3, a Manhattan-based American manufacturer of really high quality products. (Best known is the Kill-A-Watt. If you don't already own one you've likely seen it on TV or at major retailers like Walmart, Costco etc.)
For 25 years they've made niche, high-quality products – we're thrilled to have such a phenominal partner bringing thingCHARGER to market.
Electronics like thingCHARGER simply cannot be manufactured economically in the US today because the global supply chain today is set up for manufacturing in places like Taiwan, Indonesia and China.
But P3 has a long-term and trusted factory in Shenzhen China and we've all been working together for months to finalize the design.
Watch the AWESOME bit in the video where the tips swap out then store in the back... and more:
Why Extra $ for the Lightning Tip?
Each Lightning Tip must contain a specialized silicon chip
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 counterfeit Apple chips - sold as genuine Apple chips but near worthless and doomed to fail.
We're doing it right.
Like most electronics, thingCHARGER's core design doesn't fall within the framework of Apple's MFi program so we're sourcing the highest quality silicon available on the external market – and guaranteeing your tips for life.
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.
Amazingly most of those were covered by our first campaign – but now, because of its success, we have a lot of new opportunities opening up:
- International Versions (initial development)
- Major Retailers (inventory building cost)
- New Product Development (amazing new accessories and range extensions)
At thingCHARGER we are working tight and lean keeping expenses low, but its now a real business with real costs and ongoing investments to be made...
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 ETL Labs Certified.
thingCHARGER will be 'ETL Certified' — to the gold standard of electrical equipment safety.
ETL 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 expect delivery for late Q2 2015 for supporters of this campaign.
We will start shipping first to supporters of our earlier campaign, but the truth is that once product is manufactured we will now be shipping many 10s of thousands of thingCHARGERs using professional fulfillment so we'll be moving quickly you if you chose to support this campaign now.
Please trust that we'll do everything we can to speed the process, but never at the expense of safety or quality – and keep you updated as we go.
Risks & Challenges
Any new project carries significant risks, but compared to many crowdfunding campaigns, and frankly to our own first campaign, our risk profile is extremely low, because we are now at tooling with a highly experienced manufacturer and huge support both from the crowd and potential vendors in multiple markets.
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:
- Order more inventory sooner
- Develop international versions sooner
- Accelerate new product development
- 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 project's 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 really helps too.
Thank you for checking out thingCHARGER. The awesome new charger for all your things.
Need we say more?
Can I phone an order in?
We're only accepting contributions through Indiegogo right now, and they don't offer that option.
What should I add for shipping?
Add nothing today - just choose how many thingCHARGERs you want and select that level now. When we're ready to start shipping we'll email you and you can confirm your shipping information at that time. Shipping will be at cost. We won't subsidize it – nor profiting from it.
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.
We will contact you shortly before we ship so you can select how many you need.
Lightning Tips will be $12.99 for supporters of this campaign.
Apple devices which use Lightning:
- iPhones 6, 6 Plus, 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
How will thingCHARGER stay current year after year?
Interchangable Tips Baby.
As new technology comes about new tips will be made to accommodate your device. And yes we'll have wireless covered if it ever goes mainstream.
Poached or over easy?
Poached, every time. Same creamy deliciousness but so much healthier.
So how do I figure out my total ?
Add up how many thingCHARGERs you need and select the perk with the number you need.
Remember thingCHARGERs make great gifts, so it may feel good to help us a little by going a level higher and giving some to friends and family.
3 in Kitchen
2 in Office
2 for Bedroom
7 in TOTAL –
select the Choose 5 Get 2 FREE perk...
or the Choose 7 Get 3 FREE perk and give 3 as gifts!
What if I've already contributed and forgot to add extra for Shipping... or Upgrades?
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?
Right now we hope to ship in late Q2 2015. For more please read When to Expect Delivery higher up on this page.
What do you mean by a 'quality' product?
Quality means safe, adaptable, and sturdy.
thingCHARGER will be ETL Certified making it safe to be in your home. thingCHARGER is adaptable. As new things come out with different charging options we'll produce the tips to go with it.
We want thingCHARGER to be one of those products that last, like the kind that your parents and grandparents lament about.
What about Cases? Can I keep my devices in their cases when charging?
Thanks to our supporters' feedback, yes.
Cases are a big challenge for this kind of project, because they are all different thicknesses. If we make the tips the perfect length for mounting without a case they won't reach in far enough with many cases. Make the tips long enough for most cases and the devices won't be stable when mounted on top.
So we've designed an adjustment system, so you can fine-tune the height to be just right for your situation, with or without a case.
How stable is thingCHARGER?
thingCHARGER itself is very stable. Look carefully at the design and you'll see it has two sets of prongs on the back. The second set isn't needed for electricity, it is there purely to make sure thingCHARGER sits really firmly in the outlet. (We tested with one set of prongs and its OK, in fact the kitchen scene in the film was shot with an early prototype with only one set. Two sets makes it incredibly firm.)
So the top surface is firm and stable and your devices will put their weight on that. The weight of your device won't be carried by the tip, which will provide only the very slight force needed to hold the vertical position.
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 to your device and between the tip and thingCHARGER is ‘tight’ so our tips are designed to be both firm enough to fully support the mounted device - AND are flexible to ‘give’ a little as devices are put on and taken off.
The forces acting on the connector are well within range for smaller devices and for larger devices 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 if I lose my tip? Can I buy a replacement?
Yes, replacement tips will be available for purchase. However, with the design of thingCHARGER the tips you are not using will store neatly in the back so they are easy to find. When future tips come out they will be available as well.
When will you make one for my country? I'd support you today if you did!
Thank you – that means a LOT. Please support us anyway :)
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.
How much power does it use?
thingCHARGER makes only a small difference to the load on any outlet. (Maximum 1/2 amp on your 110v outlet).
1/2 Amp? I thought you said its 2.1 amps?
That's a good catch... based on a misunderstanding.
Your wall outlet is 110 volts, but USB power is 5 volts.
The math is Watts = Volts x Amps, where wattage is the actual power used...
Bottom line? The number of amps flowing from your house at 110v is less than 1/20th of the amps flowing to your device because of the voltage difference. That's a lot less than 1/2 amp, but electrical specs are all about safety margins.
What if my outlet is old and wobbly?
Hmmm. An 'old and wobbly' outlet isn't going to be a great spot for plugging in anything and certainly not thingCHARGERs. Time to break out your toolkit or call a qualified electrician.
What if my electric circuits blow fuses all the time?
That's really a question for an electrician – thingCHARGER uses very little power when in use, 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 feels stable and safe to you, and never more than 3 please.
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!
You're still reading?
OK here's the Provisional Technical Specifications and both the Country and Device Compatibility Guides.
Provisional Tech Specs
Specs You Care About
Specs You Probably Don't
Twin Standard US 3-pin Plugs
(Called 'Type B' in international-speak)
|Input Voltage||108-252 VAC|
|Charger Output Voltage||5 Volts DC (The global USB standard)||Input Current||0.5 A RMS Max for charging + current used for items plugged into the front outlets|
|Charger Output Amps||2.1 A (Enough for the hungriest tablets, or several smaller devices)||Input Frequency||57 - 63 Hz|
|Charger Outlet Types||
Interchangable Charging Tips (Switch tips in seconds so anything can be charged)
2 x USB (on the underside)
|Output Voltages||5 VDC for charging
108-252 VAC at the front outlets exactly matching input
|Regular (Front) Outlets||Standard US Twin Outlet (15 Amp max, voltage matches the input)||Charging Output Current||2.1A Maximum Combined Current for Tip and both USB ports|
108-252 Volts AC
(Just about every wall outlet on the planet)
|Charging Output Power (Rated)||10.5w Maximum Combined Power for Tip and both USB ports|
|Input Current||0.5 Amp Max (0.5 for device charging, more if the regular outlets on the front are used.)||Output Ripple (Peak to Peak)||50 MV Measured at 20 Mhz Bandwidth with .1 Μf Ceramic Capacitor in Parallel with 10 Μf Electrolytic Capacitor Connected at the Output Connector at Nominal Line|
57 - 63 Hz
(Wow. If 57 Hertz, 63 must be agony!)
|Output Load Regulation||+ 5 % of Nominal Output Voltage, Measured at Output Connector at Nominal Line|
|Weight||6.5 oz (185 grams)||Line Regulation||+ 2 % of Nominal Output Voltage, Measured at Output Connector|
|Dimensions||3 x 0.8 x 4.8 inches (76 x 20 x 122 mm)||Turn On/ Turn off Overshoot||± 10% Max 500us Max Recovery Time for 0.1A to 2.1A Step Load|
|Turn-on Delay||1,000 ms Typical|
|Hold-up Time||8 Msec Min at Nominal Input and Full Load|
|Switching Frequency||12khz - 40khz Depending on Output Load|
|Over-voltage Protection||Protected, will autorecover on removal of fault|
|Over-current / Short Circuit||Protected, will autorecover on removal of fault|
|Other Protection||Input Line Fusing|
|Safety Approvals (Planned)||Designed to Meet Ul1310|
|Dielectric Withstand Voltage||2,500 VDC Primary-secondary|
|Leakage Current||1MA Maximum at 132 VAC|
|EMI (Planned)||Designed to Meet En55022 and FCC Part 15 Class B|
|Operating Temperature||0°c to 40° C|
|Storage Temperature||-10°c to 70° C|
|Humidity||10% to 90% Relative Humidity|
|Rohs||Complies with EU 2002/95/EC and China SJ/T 11363-2006|
Specifications not final and subject to refinement
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.
thingCHARGER™ 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 Patented thingCHARGER Inc. All Rights Reserved, 2014