A screwdriver and 13 seconds. That's all you need to install the SnapPower Charger — another product by inventor Jeremy Smith that elevates the humble electrical outlet cover plate to high-tech innovation.
It was a snap for him to raise $35,000 to go into production, too.
In less than an hour, Smith and business partner Sean Watkins met their crowd-funding goal with a Kickstarter campaign that started about 9:45 a.m. Tuesday. By noon, the project topped $100,000.
This time, Smith, a Utah resident who formerly worked as an electrician, put his injection molded patented “power prong technology” to work as a sleek, low-profile USB charger that can be installed without any wiring.
Early-bird backers were snapping up the ABS cover plates with 1-amp charges for phones, tablets, “phablets,” and hotspots for as little as $10 each. The online campaign continues through May 15.
The SnapPower Charges are on the same trajectory as Smith's first product, which was the SnapPower SnapRay guide light. He surpassed his $12,000 goal in two hours and raised a total of $480,411 over the duration of the campaign to manufacture cover plates with a row of LED lights on the bottom.
Night lights and USB chargers don't need to take up any electrical outlets with Smith's inventions. His patented “power extractors,” which are two prongs on the back of the outlet cover, enable the LED lights and chargers to draw power from the receptacle without any hardwiring.
The SnapRays were a hit at the International Builders Show in January, too, winning an award for Best Indoor Living Product and then Best in Show from the National Association of Home Builders.