Power Outlets with USB Ports

usb power outletIn the corner of my room sits a power strip devoted to recharging various USB-rechargeable bits and pieces: a beige rectangle with various black plastic blobs sticking out of it, each one feeding juice to a USB cable. The USB ports vary in size and shape on the device end, but on the power-providing end, they’re all the same – that “standard”-sized USB outlet, just like the ones on our computers. There’s been many a time that I’ve thought “There’s a standard for power provided through USB; why aren’t there USB wall outlets?”

Someone at Instructables thought that too, because they’ve posted an article on how to build your own USB wall outlet. If you’ve got a penchant for DIY, some soldering skills, a willingness to fool around with house current and about a half-hour to kill, you to can rig up your house with easy USB power.

There’s another option for the do-it-yourselfers who’d rather not get into soldering and who’d also like the option of having both 3-prong 120-volt power and USB power. FastMac is offering the TruPower UCS outlet (pictured above) that lets you recharge your 21st century devices and still provide juice to those more archaic 20th century devices that require more than 5 volts and half an amp (which alas, includes desktop, laptop and netbook computers). They sell for US$10.00 each, but aren’t shipping until the new year. Still, if you’re setting up a new office, renovating an old one or just thinking about learning some simple DIY projects for your house, this one’s a nice simple project.

My question is now: “When will someone make a power strip that has both three-prong and USB ports?”