At Eaton we’re always thinking beyond, gathering engineers, product managers and customers together to discuss new solutions to vexing problems and untapped opportunities. So, it shouldn’t have been a big surprise when one of Eaton’s product managers asked, “What if we built a USB receptacle right into the outlet itself?” The reactions around Eaton—and the market—were astounding.
Combining to two technologies in a single, elegant design was a true “eureka” type of moment—one that Eaton knew would align well with the changing lifestyles and needs of end users. Still, when you suddenly change a product that has been around for more than 100 years, you expect consumers might be somewhat skeptical—if not slow to switch. Initial sales of the USB receptacle were planned to be modest. In the first year, however, sales were fifty times what was projected. In fact, it was the transformation of a simple wall outlet into something that actually surprised and delighted users.
Right on the heels of the initial product design, Eaton engineers began exploring all the possible combinations of how USB charging ports could be configured. From single and two-stacked USB ports with 15A and 20A outlets, to outlets that could charge up to four USB-powered devices at one time. Customer feedback has been amazing, fueling new product evolutions.