We seem to have an obsession here on combating “vampire power” (or at least writing about it in the past but it looks like we might run out of things to say soon*.
*Well… as soon as this gets developed since it’s still only a product in concept.
The PumPing Tap is a spring-loaded electrical socket that physically ejects a plug when it’s been left in the socket. MNN writer Matt Hickman summarized it quite nicely:
“Here’s how the PumPing Tap works: If, for example, you’ve just used the microwave oven but failed to unplug it when you’re done, a lighted ring on the socket turns from blue to red. After 10 minutes if you still haven’t used the microwave or unplugged it, the grand finale occurs: a spring mechanism ejects the plug right out of the socket. Pop!”
I can’t agree with him more that this is definitely not a good product for the easily startled. I also kind of share the sentiments of Shane McGlaun over at Slash Gear, who writes that the “PumPing Tap may be the most irritating design in history,” mostly for the fact that it would be horribly annoying for a socket to pop out behind say, a couch (though to deem something the “most irritating design” might be a stretch – has he looked on Amazon lately??)
But beyond even the couch example, would I really prefer a jumping electrical socket over let’s say, a smart strip with a built-in motion detector? (For me, the answer is an obvious “no” since I am terrified by my toaster – look, I watched Silence of the Lambs when I was far too young ok? Leave me alone).
I suppose if:
a) I wouldn’t flinch every time the electric tea kettle plug jumped out from the wall,
b) this were somehow really easily integrated into all the products I need it to be (I mean… would I plug everything into this plug, only to then plug it into the socket? It’s not like I usually get to choose the plug that goes with my microwave, right?)
c) it were soooo absurdly cheap that I wouldn’t even think twice about getting this product, and
d) I wouldn’t use this on any socket that’s in an inconvenient location
… then maybe this would be an interesting gadget for those who aren’t very diligent about monitoring their energy use?
I’m sensing lots of logistical red flags to overcome. So for now, you can all happily look forward to more Vampire Power articles (at the very least, until the final Twilight movie comes out).