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Chinese already producing British versions

Combined mains and USB charge outlets on the way

US specialist retailer Think Geek has begun selling a product that integrates USB charging ports into a standard power output socket.

The U-Socket USB Wallplug is designed to replace a standard mains electrical outlet, adding two USB sockets which are capable of charging up to 2.1A each.

The sockets are, of course, US-only so no good anywhere else but it’s a clever idea that has spawned a number of comments along the lines of "why didn’t anyone think of that before?"

The idea, it seems, isn’t brand new and there are a number of other similar products. Chinese trade site Alibaba has a number of listings from a Hong Kong-based firm called Farrington Technology offering a range of combined mains and USB charger sockets manufactured by Winon.

Single and double outlet wall plates are offered with a range of world mains plugs including the UK and Australia. Enterprising importers will need to stump for a minimum order of 5,000.

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