Mu Folding Plug

I travel a lot. I’m also a bit of a geek. This means that when I travel, my bag is usually full of an array of chargers for my various devices that I couldn’t possibly live without. I find UK mains plugs terribly cumbersome and a really awkward shape for travelling. Their pins stick out and get in the way, threatening to pierce my iPad’s screen, or something equally heinous.

Back in 2009, I came across a design concept that seemed like a stroke of genius – a folding three-pin plug that folds flat, leaving no pins sticking out. Thankfully, I wasn’t the only one that thought this was genius and some time later, they found funding to produce it and launched it as a real product called the Mu plug.

The website ( has a nice animated graphic showing how it works, but when folded away, it looks like this:

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It has a single USB port, which is perfect for charging most of my devices. One point to note though is that it only provides a one amp feed, so although it will charge an iPad, it won’t do it very quickly (the Apple charger for the iPad provides 2.1 amps).

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When folded away, the pins are covered and it’s basically a small, white plastic square. This makes a perfect travel companion, as there are no pins sticking out to poke holes in anything, it’s very light weight and I can simply change the USB cable between Apple 30-pin, lightning, mini-USB, or whatever else I need to charge my iPad, iPhone, camera etc.

Here are a few pics of the Mu when unfolded:

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I love my Mu and use it frequently, though it’s not perfect. It’s a UK plug, so only useful when travelling in the UK. This is fine, as when I’m abroad most countries use a two-pin type plug, which is much more travel friendly to begin with than a 3-pin UK plug. Also, the Mu is expensive, at £25 and there’s the issue with the low current meaning if you want to charge larger devices, like an iPad, you may want to take another higher-powered charger. Personally, I just use the Mu and leave it on charge over night.


One of those designs that you can’t believe no-one thought of decades ago and an invaluable travel companion, though not without fault. Low current means charging power-hungry devices can be time consuming and they’re not cheap, at £25.


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Filed under Design, Gadgets

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