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The Neo-Plug Kickstarter project is the magnetic connection system I’ve wanted for years

I’ve had a fascination with magnetic connectors for years. Two years ago I came up with a “MagPad” concept that would add magnetic connectors to existing devices, and since then I’ve also done some minor prototyping on such a system. As I’ve never been interested in going commercial with anything I do, however, my only hope was that someone else had the same idea and ran with it. Now, someone has.

The Neo-Plug is more or less exactly what I envisioned. You get a small connector piece that attach to your device’s existing connector, taking up next to no extra space, and a cable adapter that will attach to it magnetically. Through using gold-plated neodymium magnets the Neo-Plug will allow for proper charging through the magnets, and give you all the benefits of a cable that snaps into place and won’t drag your device down with it if the cable gets snagged on anything.

Obviously I hope this project succeeds, though it does need to raise another $165,000 in just 26 days. With Neo-Plug kits available for both Apple 30 pin, Lightning, and microUSB connectors, however, there are plenty of devices out there that this will support, and plenty of people who can benefit from it.

[Kickstarter]

Update: Turns out the video in the project was a rush job due to Kickstarter rejecting the first one for using CAD illustrations. The original, and far better one, is below.

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Andreas Ødegård

Andreas Ødegård is more interested in aftermarket (and user created) software and hardware than chasing the latest gadgets. His day job as a teacher keeps him interested in education tech and takes up most of his time.

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16 thoughts on “The Neo-Plug Kickstarter project is the magnetic connection system I’ve wanted for years

  • Avatar of JRDemaskus

    I remember when you wrote about the Pebble watch connector. I was with you on that one.
    Since then my friend’s Kindle Fire charging port has been damaged.
    While these magnetic connectors are cool, I would like to see more “wireless” chargers. And I hope the cost of the charging stations comes down soon.
    Thanks for the tip, gonna go check it out.
    Peace

    Reply
    • Avatar of JRDemaskus

      That didn’t work.
      Kickstarter keeps crashing my Android Browser (2.3.3 Olleh ROM, On Dell Streak 5″)
      There have been other sites too that just Force Close my Browser when I open them. I usually just delete them from my favorites when they stop working, but I liked visiting Kickstarter.

      Reply
        • Avatar of JRDemaskus

          JK, I get it.
          But if that was truly the reason, then they lost a potential customer.
          But it does not answer the question of, “why do certain sites force close the browser?” And “does anyone else have this problem?” Kickstarter is a good example.
          Thanks

          Reply
          • Avatar of JRDemaskus

            Solved!
            Google search was full of questions.
            Temporarily disable Java Script in browser settings.
            Cool device BTW!
            Peace

  • i can’t believe the video even mentions dangerous and illegal activities like “plugging in a device WHILE DRIVING”.

    “i know it’s bad but everyone does it”.

    what the hell?

    Reply
    • Avatar of Andreas Ødegård

      Well it’s true. You can tip toe around the problem all you want, but personally I’d rather see a product that takes illegal but dangerous situations into consideration rather than one that pretends they don’t exist.

      Standing next to a fire yelling “this shouldn’t have happened” might be morally correct, but I think a fire extinguisher is more helpful

      Reply
    • Unfortunately kickstarter has some weird project rules and they encourage fun videos. I figured this will make people laugh as well as stick in your head. It worked dint it?

      Reply
  • also, how does this product address reverse polarity problems in the connectors ?

    Reply
    • Avatar of Andreas Ødegård

      I assume the connector can only snap on one way, just like any other connector

      Reply
    • Andreas is correct the magnets are placed in the product in a way where the NS are reversed therefore the plug cannot mate with the adapter in a reversed way.

      Reply
  • Avatar of Leighton

    I love the idea but I have some concerns about it.

    Would it only support charging? If so you’d need to remove the adapter from the device if you needed to plug it into a computer. This may be rare enough occurrence now a-days that it’d have minimal impact.

    You’d also have to purchase multiple cables for all charging locations (3 for me: home, work and travel.) or else remove the adapter from the device when charging without the Neo-plug cable.

    Which brings me to my last concern, how easy is it to remove the adapter from the devices? With it so flush to the device it looks very difficult to get a grip on to remove.

    Reply
    • Avatar of Andreas Ødegård

      The project page states syncing capabilities, though that seems unlikely with the current configuration of the microUSB and lightning adapters. Needing multiple new cables is indeed an issue as you say, but something you have to go through with any new connector. Removing the connectors shouldnt be difficult with some small pliers, but I am very curious to see if this wouldnt just be a massive hassle to anyone needing to do so often

      Reply
    • Yes the finished product will have data transfer and charging capability. It was not possible to make a Lightning and Micro USB to demonstrate this since the smallest manufactured magnets are 1.6mm. When the project gets funded and the product is manufactured custom magnets down to 0.5mm will be used.

      As for removal, the neo-plug will come with a tool to make removing the plug easy.

      Reply
  • Huh, love the idea, but seriously, worst video/presentation ever :(

    As for the product itself, is the piece on the cable fixed or is it removable as in your prototype? If it’s the latter, than I’m not really interested, since it would be way to expensive – from what I read, it would cost at least 20$, right?

    Reply
    • All the pieces are removable, nothing is permanent. This product is designed to make connecting your device easier.

      There has been quite a bit of work put into deciding the price levels. We had to consider minimum quantities with manufacturers, keeping the product price still attractive while being able to achieve our funding goals. Countless hours, debates and many pots of coffee has gone into the pricing alone.

      Reply

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