The Triplex Outlet: Why Didn't Someone Think of This Before?

triplex outlet
Justin at Materialicious asks "How cool is this?" BoingBoing asks "Why didn't somebody think of this before?! Was there some engineering issue that had to be overcome to allow such an elegant, ingenious and obvious design?"

I can think of a couple of reasons:

1) Nobody needed it when outlets weren't grounded or we didn't have wall-warts;
2) It probably still isn't legal in kitchens where outlets are "split"- two circuits to each plug;
3) Because it is made by one manufacturer and is different than the universal standard, it probably costs five times as much;
4) It probably took five years and hundreds of thousands of dollars to get all those approval labels stamped into it;
5) I notice it only has one screw on the side, so it probably is only legal if it has its own breaker.

That is the problem with so much of design- you can have the great idea but the system, the codes and the "way we always did it" grinds innovation to a halt. Designers don't just need an idea and talent, they need guts, persistence and money. Or be named Starck. ::Materialicious via::BoingBoing

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