By Kelli B. Grant
Senior consumer reporter and “Deal of Day” columnist Kelli B. Grant travels to Las Vegas to find the best, the worst, and the most hyped gadgets at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. Join her as she roams the exhibit floor for three days, with dispatches here and on Twitter @kellibgrant.
Travelers who get that sinking feeling that they have forgotten something often discover later that the something in question is the cable for charging their laptop, smartphone or other devices.
The mountain of cable cords at Loss Prevention Systems’ booth speaks to the issue: several dozen chargers, all collected from a single Manhattan hotel over the course of several days. The company’s new $10 device, Perch, aims to eliminate the problem.
Users plug Perch into an electrical outlet and then plug their device into Perch. The device senses when someone unhooks the gadget but not the cord, says chief executive Michael Andrews. It periodically illuminates and chirps until the Perch and charger are unplugged too or until the user presses its button to silence the alarm. The hope is that it reminds the user — like a audio string-around-the-finger that pinches from time-to-time. The hope is not that doesn’t become part of the room’s white noise along with the couple arguing in the next room.
Experts say the device could also be an energy saver at home, preventing consumers from leaving chargers plugged in unnecessarily. By Department of Energy estimates, such vampire power costs the average U.S. household $130 per year. Some Perch units have two prongs, however, and other have three, so users may need to invest in several to cover their needs.