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Two Innovative New Products That Will Keep Your Chargers From Tearing Apart

Alyssa Bereznak
National Correspondent, Technology
Yahoo Tech
May 16, 2014

Two Innovative New Products That Will Keep Your Chargers From Tearing Apart

Alyssa Bereznak
National Correspondent, Technology
Yahoo Tech
May 16, 2014

Unless you’re an obsessively neat person, chances are your charging cables have been mercilessly yanked and wrapped every which way. Perhaps their ends have splintered and you’ve had to spend an unnecessary sum for new ones.

Perhaps this has annoyed you.

You are not alone. The people have spoken and funded two active Kickstarter projects that have solutions for this common problem: protective rubber cozies and reinforced replacement cords.

My cord situation circa 2012.

The first of our saviors is the Python Cord, a rubber band that stretches over your MacBook or PC adaptor and chokes the base of the thin cord that connects to your laptop. It’s by no means a complicated piece of technology, just a rubber thingy that’s there to offer its undying support to a charger in need. This way you can worry less about the potential damage you might cause by pulling your laptop charger around corners.

Photo courtesy of Python Cord.

The prototype I tried (pictured below) worked well enough, though it didn’t fit on the base of my adaptor as beautifully as the one pictured above. That could mean that the very base of the cord’s connection to the adaptor isn’t as protected as promised.

The Python Cord prototype in action.

It also wasn’t very easy to wrap my cord up and tuck it in the band (as picture below) for safe storage. There’s really not much room in that band for anything but the adaptor body itself.

 

Photo courtesy of Python Cord.

Python Cord inventor Elliott Snyder told Yahoo Tech that the final Python Cord will be made out of two different rigidities of silicone. “The top portion that wraps around the cord will be stiffer,” he said. “Thus providing more support. While the bottom strap that wraps around the power supply will be more elastic making it easy to install.”

All flaws aside, if you tend to be fast and loose with your charger, $13 is a fraction of the cost of a whole new one ($70-$100). I’d say it’s a smart investment for anyone who isn’t extra careful about that kind of stuff. Which is probably, like, every single college student out there. And they ship in July, just in time for back-to-school shopping.

Then we have Snakable (another snake reference, creative!). Rather than act as an enforcing accessory, this cord replaces your charger for either an Apple device or any device that uses a Micro USB charger (almost any other smartphone). Each end of the cable is equipped with a protective cover made of free-moving ball joints, which allows the cord to remain protected whenever you move it, preventing it from being pinched or folded in a way that might cause permanent damage. 

Photo courtesy of Snakable.

These will run four feet long, and come in red, black, green, orange, and white. My prototype was definitely still in its early stages, and didn’t actually have any cord in it. In theory, I could see it really working. The protective ends slithered well from side to side, but less so up and down.

The Snakable cord in action.

Whenever I got aggressive with it, the joints popped apart. I’m assuming that the Snakable cord’s lifetime guarantee and $30 retail price tag mean that it will be much more durable come shipping day. 

When you consider that Apple’s Lightning cords cost $19 a piece, the Snakable doesn’t make much sense to buy unless you need to replace an already-damaged cord. And honestly, I have much fewer problems with these breaking than I do my heavy (and pricey) laptop chargers. 

I’d only recommend buying a Snakable if you’re an especially abusive cord owner. Or, if you need a new one, and want to take advantage of the project’s early bird special, which allows you to pledge $20 now and receive a Snakable cord when creator Wes Goulborne ships the first batch in August. 

If anything, that these two Kickstarter projects were fully funded well before their deadlines should be a message to our gadget manufacturers, particualrly Apple. If these companies are going to promise long-lasting, adaptable technology along with their high prices, it’s about time they include the accessories that charge them in that guarantee.

In the meantime, you know where to go when they fail you.

Follow Alyssa Bereznak on Twitter or email her here.