New Electrical Outlet Self-Ejects Idle Devices

Dennis Faas's picture

Leaving electrical appliances plugged in to power outlets, but unattended, has long been an energy-drain issue for some individuals. High electricity costs, coupled with countless instances of accidental electrical fires, have now given rise to a new socket design that unplugs devices without any prompting.

Electrical Socket Ejects Devices After Ten Idle Minutes

Called the "PumPing Tap", the spring-loaded electrical socket detects current flowing through it and releases the plug when an electrical device is left idle.

The new outlet is primarily intended to conserve energy, and is a great idea for people who tend to leave devices idle and not in use.

To prevent unwanted ejections, the new socket offers a 10-minute "heads-up" warning to anyone close by. When a plugged-in device is left unused in the new electrical outlet, a circle of blue light surrounding the socket turns to red, warning any nearby observer to "use it or lose it."

If the device remains plugged in but idle, the outlet automatically ejects the plug. (Source:

Energy Conserving Socket a Prize-Winning Design Concept

While to some this might seem like a simple concept, the PumPing Tap has already received high praise for its design.

In fact, the newly designed socket took home the prestigious Red Dot Award in 2011. Red Dot Awards are international product-and-communication design prizes handed out each year by the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen in Essen, Germany. (Source:

There are some limitations to the product, however.

One is that it poses difficulties with regards to sockets that are installed in hard-to-reach places. The other issue is that there isn't a good way to determine where a plug will land once ejected (it could land on the safety of a counter, or it could come to rest on a hazardous stove top). Some observers have suggested a better alternative might be a socket that turns itself off.

If the concept reaches the market, many expect the PumPing Tap will likely be well-received by an energy-conscious society. Currently, however, no formal plans for commercialization have been announced.

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