A reader from New Zealand alerted me to a new travel gadget — so new it’s still on the drawing board — that you can help fund on Kickstarter if you wish.
The gadget — which can be used at home as well as on the road — is a reversible USB adapter that plugs in to any USB port and works with all types of existing cables, whether for a laptop, a smartphone, a tablet, a portable hard drive, or what have you.
It’s called an RYO Adapter and it’s from a company called RYO Technology.
Why would you need a reversible USB adapter?
Well, how many times have you tried to plug in a USB cable and realized you had it in backwards so it didn’t fit? (In my case, certainly hundreds — I always seem to get it wrong.)
Not only is it annoying, but if you impatiently try to jam the connector in backwards it could damage either the cable or the port. “It’s a small nuisance that could become a big problem,” says Julian Chow, the RYO Adapter’s creator.
Chow also maintains that the adapter will stay attached to your cable and not remain in your laptop or wall charger when you go to pull it out.
With a prototype in hand, RYO has just opened a Kickstarter campaign with a goal of raising $15,000 by April 13, 2015, which will allow it to create custom molds and manufacture the first sets of adapters. As I write this, the crowd-funding goal has already been surpassed — after one day. But you can still make donations, which could speed up the entire process and allow for wider distribution.
(March 18 update: the Kickstarter campaign has now passed $30,000.)
Should you wish to contribute, your prize could be a set of three adapters for less than you’d pay if you have to buy them retail — for higher donations RYO will add more adapters plus at least one reversible USB flash drive — but of course you’re also helping to fund what looks to be a worthwhile project…and perhaps help to eliminate one of life’s little annoyances.