The $3.97, Mobile, Web 2.0, Infrastructure Appliance

As a consultant who travels a fair amount, this device gets my vote as the single most important discovery this year:

Web 2.0 Appliance

When you’re at a conference (I’ve been at both Ajax World West and Garnter Open Source / Web Innovation Summits in the last week) or in an airport, electrical outlets are at a premium. There are countless web 2.0 knowledge workers wandering the halls seeking power. (Ampires, or wherevolts).

This little device turns that moment of potential conflict – where you spot an outlet but all the available sockets are in use – into a moment of collaboration. (In case it isn’t possible to tell from my hotel room photograph, this translates a single three-prong outlet into three. Simply approach the user of one of the existing outlets and ask to unplug them for an instant – they get to stay plugged in, you get to plug in, and you get one bonus plug for a third person or a second device.)

It’s “just good enough” – carrying a real powerstrip with fault protection, etc. would be better, from the point of view of protecting your laptop – but hey, you were plugged directly into the socket already, so this doesn’t make things worse.

It’s small enough to put in your computer bag and travel without problems.

It’s cheap enough that if you leave it somewhere by accident you can just go buy another one.

It’s even in RSS orange.


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