by , 07/11/06

E-Rope Modular power strip, Vampire Power, Chul Min Kang, Sung Hun Lim, 2006 IDEA Awards, Businessweek, ISDA

Did you know that electric cables, chargers and devices in standby mode can suck up tons of electrical power? Even when your phone isn’t plugged in, your cell-phone charger might be adding an additional 10% to your energy bill every month in vampire power. Fortunately, some Pratt students have come to our rescue with an award-winning design to stamp out vampire power.

Proving again that Pratt is where it’s at, Chul Min Kang and Sung Hun Lim have come up with an ingenious modular power strip called the E-Rope. This twistable device enables users to add or subtract sockets as needed, and can accommodate large, bulky cords in the way that ordinary power strips can’t. The best part is that you can shut off the flow of power to any cable simply by twisting the socket section 90 degrees. Brilliant! And cute. Businessweek apparently agrees, as the E-Rope just won a 2006 IDEA award for student design.

I can’t wait till these babies come to market..

+Businessweek / ISDA 2006 IDEA AWARDS

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  1. glory November 27, 2007 at 12:17 am

    Looks suspiciously like Rubik’s Snake…..

  2. Deeper Shade of Green &... April 9, 2007 at 1:48 am

    […] you don’t need on – off. This will power off all the devices unneeded to be on. Here’s one interesting concept I came […]

  3. Hoon (Sunghun Lim) January 29, 2007 at 8:27 am

    Thank you guys. Here is the official website.

  4. Jill August 24, 2006 at 3:24 pm

    Just an update – the designer has just informed me that he has a new website with more information on the E-Rope:

    Check it out!

  5. Taraje Solomon August 15, 2006 at 8:56 am

    Greetings all. I’m glad to see so much in depth conversation about this topic.

    I have to say that I have been working on a similar design (minus the 90 degree turn-off option) for the past 3 years. My company is in the process of developing a consumer office supply product called a S.L.I.P. Strip ™(Sliding Lockable Inline Power strip)

    We have secured a provisional patent for the product and received a PIES evaluation from the WIN center ( for it as well. From its evaluation, the S.L.I.P. Strip ™ received 85% likelihood of success, scoring a high mark on 38 out of the possible 45 criteria. I would be great to get your honest feedback. You can take a look at a CAD animation here:

  6. » E-... July 26, 2006 at 7:19 am

    […] [Via inhabitat] […]

  7. Kerstin’s Blogger... July 17, 2006 at 8:24 pm

    […] Pratt Students design new outlet strip that blocks unused electricity from being wasted. Plus the E-Rope just won a 2006 IDEA award for student design! Read More Here. […]

  8. Brad July 13, 2006 at 1:10 am

    Right – plugs are supposed to be out of the way, not twistable. And the whole problem with vampire appliances is that MOST of the time, you don’t want to shut them off (alarm clocks, microwaves, anything with a clock). And then I see the little blue lights to tell you they’re ON – seems like more vampire suckage, not less.

  9. Kurt July 12, 2006 at 7:32 pm

    As I understand the vampire issue: Per this example the cell phone charger will continue to suck energy even if the cell phone is unplugged from the charger. Therefore, I have to agree with others that have said it is just as easy to unplug the cell phone charger that is not being being used as it is to twist the outlet 90 degrees. What we really need is better chargers that do not use energy when the unit is not plugged into it.

  10. MILITANTPLATYPUS »... July 12, 2006 at 5:12 pm

    […] In a word: modular. E-Rope can be configured to fit your exact needs, whether it is a few outlets or many. It can also accommodate as many power-bricks as you can through at it. One of the unique features is that an individual socket can be switched off by rotating it 90 degrees! […]

  11. Cherie July 12, 2006 at 2:32 pm

    Call me crazy, but I am somehow missing the brilliance of this cute little device. I prefer an in-line power strip that offers surge protection in addition to an off-switch. And I don’t have to move the furniture to turn it off.

  12. Willofgod July 12, 2006 at 12:43 pm

    Jill, how is twisting to turn off more innovative than a switch?

    In case I am confused… Either all there is one twist to turn the whole thing off (same as a switched power strip) or each plug must be twisted to turn it off… if that is the case how is that easier than unpluging it.

    The only win I see in this design, is as I said before, it can avoid itself.

  13. Andrew July 12, 2006 at 7:31 am

    I think it would be more practical to put a switch above the outlet to enable/disable it, I’d be more motivated to kick a switch up and down than to bend down, forget which way to turn this thing, adjust my power strip so the cable doesn’t wiegh it back to the on position, ect.

  14. Ben July 11, 2006 at 10:58 pm

    Seems like that could get pretty messy and be hard to twist the ones you want once you start getting a lot of cables plugged in, but I like the idea anyway.

    What would be nicer is some sort of…or maybe I should keep that to myself and enter the competition next year…

  15. Jill July 11, 2006 at 7:42 pm

    Hi people-

    I don’t understand the top comment at all – do you not understand what is twisting here? This IS A POWER STRIP and different parts of it twist 90 degrees. I don’t see what is so difficult to understand about this.

    To respond to all of you regarding “why don’t you just unplug the cable from the wall” – I agree that you have a point here – yes one should just unplug their cell phone chargers when they are not using it. However, once you start to get more and more gadgets that require charging and use vampire power, it can get very complicated to remember to unplug each and everyone of your devices from different outlets and power strips. Something like this would easily organize and simplify the situation for you. You can plug as many modules into it as you want, and make it as long as possible, storing all your electronic devices here.

    For all these reasons, I think this is a great – and very innovative –design, and well worthy of the Businessweek 2006 IDEA Award prize.

  16. Willofgod July 11, 2006 at 7:26 pm

    It won because it is a pretty blue.

    It is nice that it can get out of the way of itself for use with on-plug dc power supplys.

  17. gdim July 11, 2006 at 7:22 pm

    Sounds like a good idea for being able to add on irregular shaped plugs, but why not unplug charges etc that cause additional draw? I guarentee that I would twist the socket 90 degrees, forget what position it was in and try and recharge my cell etc.

  18. Frederic Galliot July 11, 2006 at 5:00 pm

    I can see ten reasons why this is wrong, but let’s go with this first one that comes to mind:
    now you’re saying you don’t want your cell phone charger to suck up power when idle ?
    What about UNPLUGGING IT? How about that for innovation, hey ?

    Of course you’re not paying a designer to perform this, but not everything needs to be designed, right ?

  19. Ross Patterson July 11, 2006 at 1:24 pm

    Do these folks ever actually use they toys they design? “twisting the socket section 90 degrees”? Go try that on your average wall outlet or power strip. And this won an award? Sheesh!

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