Published: May 3, 2013

Sure, there are a few kinks to be worked out, but the designers behind the clever and unfussy Window Socket are onto something: A solar converter-charger that serves as an outlet on windows, not walls.


Photos: Kyuho Song and Boa Oh

Matt Hickman

Matt Hickman

Today, here’s a quick look at a small — but not really all that mighty — conceptual solar charger that’s positively blown up around the interwebs over the past few days, which is no small feat in the oversaturated sun-powered, gadget-charging market. And for what it lacks in power, the device makes up for with a clever and simple design that helps it truly stick out from the pack.

The creation of Korean designers Kyuho Song and Boa Oh, the Window Socket is a portable, suction plate-based solar converter-charger that functions as a standard (at this point, European) plug. Stick it on any window — at home, in the office, car windshield, commuter train — where there’s decent sunlight, and the device automatically starts converting sunlight into electric energy. Once fully charged – it takes about five to eight hours — remove the Window Socket and you have yourself a handy-dandy little outlet-on-the-go that maintains its charge for an unfortunately short 10 hours.

Although you don’t necessarily have to remove the Window Socket to plug in, the device’s compact size makes it a shoo-in for outdoor excursions. However, with that 10-hour battery life, the window-to-wilderness timeframe is a bit tight.

Window Socket, solar-powered plug in

Explain the designers:

This product is intended to enabled you to use electricity freely and conveniently in a space restricted in the use of electricity, such as in a plane, a car, and outdoors. Thus, this product was meant to draw out a socket used indoors outward. We tried to design a portable socket, so that users can use it intuitively without special training.

As pointed out by more than a few commenters — the device’s initial appearance over at Yanko Design impressively garnered more than 300 comments — the big drawback here aside from the slow charge time is that the Window Socket’s battery is currently at 1000mAh which isn’t enough juice to really power anything save for a smartphone or other low-voltage mobile gadget.

So nope, there will be no fiddling around on your laptop or vacuuming the house with this solar-powered converter-charger combo that, in the words of Sarah Laskow over at Grist, “attaches to a window like a leech to human skin.”


How to use the Window Socket illustration

If the Window Socket does ever go into production after a few tweaks —with a beefed-up battery life and USB capabilities, perhaps —think you’d be interested?

Via [Yanko Design] via [Grist]