Computerworld|Nov 4, 2016 11:01 AM PT
Los Angeles start-up Snapnator.com has created a magnetic power connector for USB-C laptops, including the new MacBook Pro, which eliminated the popular power connector in its latest model.
The company just launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to raise money to ramp up production of the new adapter. In only a few days, the company has already received about $60,000, more than double its fundraising goal of $25,000.
The Snapnator adapter has an even greater magnetic coupling than Apple’s traditional MagSafe connector, which until last year’s MacBook arrived had been the company’s standard charging connector for all laptops. The new MacBook Pro unveiled last week also ditches the MagSafe connector.
“Most magnetic couplings have a magnet on one side and [metal] on the other side. With the snap we spared no expense. We put a magnet on both sides,” Snapanator stated in its crowdfunding material.
The Snapnator adapter comes in two parts, a magnetic power connector with USB-C female port and a magnetic adapter with male USB-C plug.
Because the magnetic adapter is on the outside of the USB-C type port on a laptop or smartphone, if the cord is pulled with sufficient force, the only part that will break away is the magnetic connection; Snapnator claims that will help prevent damage to a device’s USB-C port.
Early Kickstarter backers can pre-order an adapter for $19; for a $30 pledge, the company throws in a USB-C to USB 2.0 converter as well.
The company is also offering a USB-C hub that includes a Micro USB, Micro TransFlash and SD card slot, as well as a standard USB port. Early backers can have the USB-C hub, as well as the USB-C MagSafe-type adapter and USB-C to USB 2.0 converter for $34.
The company plans to begin shipping the adapters in January.
Because the power adapter works with USB-C, it can be used for any device with that connector, including Chromebook, Google Pixel and many smartphones.
The company is also offering early pledgers on Kickstarter an additional six months of warranty beyond the standard 12-month warranty available once the adapter goes retail.