Mu Folding Plug is an Innovative Design for the U.K. Power Plug

By Wesley Fenlon

The Mu folds into a 1-centimeter thick compact form for portability.

Designer Min-Kyu Choi struck viral gold in 2009 with his mockup of the Folding Plug, a power adapter designed to reinvent the bulky plugs used in the U.K. The design won awards and convinced Choi to develop an actual product. Two and a half years later, that product comes to the market in the Mu, a power adapter that folds in on itself to reduce its bulk down to about one centimeter of thickness.

While some other plugs have tips that fold into the body to avoid scratching laptops or other electronics, the Mu focuses on minimizing its size while also tucking away the prongs for safekeeping.

At £25 the Mu's an expensive and limited accessory--it currently only provides enough power to charge a smartphone over USB. Adapters designed to support tablets and laptops are planned for release later in the year. If the Mu gains the kind of viral traction the concept plug did, perhaps it has a shot at being picked up by larger manufacturers and used for all kinds of electronics.

Choi's original video from 2009 demonstrates how design evolves from prototype to marketable product. The final design's flaps close over the power prongs to keep them from scratching up a phone screen when tossed into a bag with a smartphone.