VoltSafe technology brings antiquated electrical pronged plug designs into the 21st century, creating a new world standard in: safety, simplicity (ease of use) and smart capabilities. Below is our recent interview with Trevor Burgess, CEO at VoltSafe:
Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to VoltSafe?
A: For the last 140 years worldwide, all high voltage electrical devices are required to have metal prongs that insert into live outlets. Reliable, yes. Safe and always easy to connect, no.
Whether users accidentally get shocked or on purpose, statistics worldwide make known the dangers of pronged plugs and live outlets. VoltSafe technology eliminates shock risk to users because VoltSafe plugs only turn on after plug faces fully connect. VoltSafe’s fingerprint-like “sensing” technology, requires both sides to exactly match for power to flow (<5 milliseconds later) and turn off just as fast. Since VoltSafe plugs connect before power turns on, sparking will no longer occur, whereas current plugs spark every time you plug in and out. At the plug level, VoltSafe plugs function like a GFCI and AFCI. In fact safety is increased, because with standard GFCI’s you still get shocked if you touch hot and neutral at the same time! VoltSafe plugs are child proof, adult proof and fool proof. You can throw water on them or even bridge the contacts yet they still won’t accidentally turn on. When it comes to other new charging technologies like radio frequency and inductive charging, they are great for low power device charging but are hamstrung by a multitude of limitations such as: power levels, power losses, hardware costs. Recommended: An Interview With Len Covello, Chief Technology Officer At Engage People
Q: Can you tell us something more about your recent announcement?
A: Getting our world-changing technology to market was no easy feat, as it took more than 6 years to accomplish. In fact I can’t help but make fun (of VoltSafe) because our 2014 kickstarter campaign turned out to be the longest running kickstarter project… that still successfully delivered the promised product to its backers (2020). Typically if 2 years has passed, kickstarter backers don’t ever receive the product they backed. The hard reality was… trying to disrupt one of the oldest unchanged industries (pronged electrical connectors) in the world was like David going up against Goliath. Entrenched safety certifications in Canada (CSA) and USA (UL) are written in a way that only allow for pronged designs that plug into outlets (that have live contacts recessed by no less than 4.5mm)
Now that safety certification for our beachhead product is complete, commercializing future VoltSafe products becomes formulaic. Our business model keys in on partnerships (licensing our technology) with companies across a multitude of different verticals to bring additional products that are “Powered by VoltSafe Technology”. The 1.25M seed round we recently announced will close shortly, with proceeds being used drive sales & distribution, expand our IP portfolio along with fostering these new partnerships.
Q: What’s the best thing about VoltSafe that people might not know about?
A: A cool thing about VoltSafe technology is just how capable our smart-plugs are and what’s coming down our product pipeline. Don’t just think safe or simple to use, also think.. “seamless app control”, “home automation”, “energy savings”, “A.I.”, and a variety of optional “environment sensors” plugins that work together to create a smart home or smart business energy management ecosystem.
But perhaps my favourite thing about VoltSafe that people aren’t aware of, is that the technology is the first universal plug in the world, having the power to unite all of the different world standards and designs for electrical plugs. VoltSafe home outlets will automatically work, no matter what country they are used in (120/240V or 50/60hz) and VoltSafe plug-end adapters are inexpensive and designed to match each country’s respective prong types. Another universal aspect is VoltSafe’s ability to automatically deliver power from the outlet in either ac or dc, depending on what gets plugged into the outlet. Those rather expensive laptop chargers we all have to pay for (that convert ac to dc), taking extra $ out of our wallets, won’t be needed anymore.
Other existing technologies like radio frequency and inductive charging are hamstrung by a multitude of limitations such as: power levels, power losses, hardware costs.
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Q: What can we expect from VoltSafe in next 12 months?
A: Commercialization of additional VoltSafe products like: home, marine shore-power, rv, emergency services, etc., along with embedding additional futuristic smartplug capabilities into designs.
The smartplug and smart home are here to stay, currently growing at nearly 30% CAGR. Although this may appear to be stellar growth, a limiting factor for consumers lies within the current value proposition offered by smartplugs. Consumers have to justify their purchase decision (cost of replacing a $3 outlet with a $50 smartplug), and this benefit currently is app control and power metering. Yes savings and convenience are indeed to be had from this capital cost, but can take on average a year or more to realize.
By bringing electrical plug design into the 21st century, VoltSafe has unlocked previously unreachable economic value and safety, creating a notably heightened value proposition to consumers that will help drive market adoption and increased sales of smartplug.