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Kickstart this reversible USB adapter and never plug in the wrong way again

by Jacob Kleinman | March 8, 2015March 8, 2015 3:30 pm EST

I spend a lot of time looking through Kickstarter, but the Ryo Adapter might just be the most brilliantly simple crowd-funding project I’ve ever seen. It’s so amazing that we’re actually covering this one a day before it goes live. It’s just that good.

The Ryo Adapter solves a problem that’s plagued humanity for years. It makes any USB cord reversible, meaning it will plug in no matter which way it’s facing. It’s also super cheap.

The Ryo Adapter was developed by Julian Chow, who says he became fed up with USB technology after banging his head against the bottom of his desk while trying to plug in a keyboard. Chow reached out to techie YouTube star Kevin Lieber, and the two decided to launch the new product together.

The concept behind Ryo is pretty simply. It attaches to the end of your USB cord, turning it into a specially-designed connector that fits into a standard port no matter which way you hold it. The design also features a tight grip that keeps the adapter attached to the rest of the cord even if you yank it out, and a built-in groove for neatly wrapping up your wire when it’s not in use.

Still not convinced? Chow notes that the average person wastes 30 minutes per year figuring out the right way to plug in their USB cords. He also says each Ryo adapter should last even longer than the cord itself, holding up to regular wear and tear for roughly three years.

But the Ryo Adapter isn’t just clever, it also comes at an extremely reasonable price. Once the company launches its Kickstarter page on Monday, you’ll be able to order three adapters (two black and one white) for just $12 with an early bird special. For $25 you can get the same three-pack of adapters along with an 8GB USB flash drive shaped like the company’s adorable Kushi mascot. You can also order six Ryo adapters and two USB drives for $49, or grab 18 adapters and six flash drives for just $139. All orders should arrive by September, assuming the project hits its $15,000 crowd-funding goal in time.

There’s always some risk when you pre-order a device on Kickstarter, but Chow and Lieber are committed to making this happen. They’ve teamed up with a leading manufacturer to produce Ryo, and decided to preemptively push the delivery date back a month just to be safe. That means the adapter could potentially arrive up to a month earlier, though we’re not making any promises.


Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...