News / Toronto

Western U students invent magnetic smartphone, laptop charger

The group recently pitched their idea to the CBC Dragons’ Den Next Gen Den panel, and they’re looking to get final certification before taking pre-orders.

Murray Wu, left, and Soo Jeong Choe are leading the student group working on the new magnetic power adapter.

Steven Goetz/For Metro

Murray Wu, left, and Soo Jeong Choe are leading the student group working on the new magnetic power adapter.

Plugging in your laptop or smartphone may soon get a little easier thanks to the ingenuity of a group of Ontario students.

Murray Wu and Soo Jeong Choe are part of a team at the University of Western Ontario that’s developing a new magnetic power adapter.

The original plugging system was invented in the early 1900s, and it’s time for a change, Wu said.

“The current plugging experience is absolutely tedious and it can be dangerous too,” said Choe.

“We were just looking to simplify that process and hopefully save people some time, effort and reduce their frustration.”

They’ve named their product VO – both a play on Drake’s popular brand OVO and a reference to their product’s shape. The adapter that goes inside the wall socket is circular, while the magnetic attachment where the electronic device plugs in is V-shaped.

The product resembles Apple’s MagSafe technology, the students said. All one has to do is to snap the magnetic cord to the adapter and get charging.

The pair recently pitched their idea to the CBC Dragons’ Den Next Gen Den panel, and they’re looking to get final certification before taking pre-orders.

Interest is already high, especially from hairstylists and musicians, Choe said. The team is also launching a Kickstarter campaign later this month to test the broader market.

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