You're on a trip and you plug your smartphone charger into the hotel room wall socket to give your phone new life. When it reaches full charge, you unplug the cord from your phone and make some calls. Then you get dressed, repack your things and head off to your meeting.
Later that night, it hits you with a thud—you left the charger plugged in at the hotel, which you left hours before, and now you have to head to your next business destination sans charger. That means a side trip to a store where you can buy a replacement charger in a pinch just so you can finish your trip.
I bet that this scenario has happened to us all, at least once, maybe more.
But you don't have to let it happen again. That's because you can now buy a smartphone charger cord from ChargerLeash that includes an integrated alarm module that sends off an audible sound after you unplug your device to remind you to remove the cord from the wall and pack it away for safekeeping.
I know it sounds silly, but an alarmed cord could actually be useful to prevent the loss of charger cords in hotels, rental cars, trains or anywhere else where we plug our smartphones in and then become easily distracted at the wrong moment. I'm all ears as I recently spoke with Brian Tedesco, the inventor of ChargerLeash.
"I'm a serial traveler," said Tedesco, who also owns a company that sells and distributes consumer electronics around the world. "I'm constantly on the road. I just got tired of leaving that charger cable in Miami when I am now in New York and my phone battery is dead."
That problem is what inspired Tedesco, who is not a product engineer, to dream up his invention and find a way to build and market it.
"When you are saved by the ChargerLeash [on a trip] one time, you will be sold," he said.
The ChargerLeash, which sells for $19 for Android phones or $29 for iPhones, replaces your phone's original USB charging and sync cable with a well-built cord that has a built-in alarm. As soon as a phone is disconnected and stops drawing power, the alarm goes off to remind you to unplug it. The new second-generation device also includes a snooze button so you can silence the alarm if you want to leave the cord plugged in at home. BlackBerry and Windows Phone models are also available.
The ChargerLeash can even act as an anti-theft device because the alarm will sound if your phone is plugged in in a public place and someone tries to steal it by unplugging it from the charger.
Later this year, the company will expand into other products with the built-in alarms, including foreign power travel adaptors, USB hubs, portable smartphone power packs, and laptops and tablets.
Sometimes the craziest ideas can be the most useful ideas.