If you've amassed a collection of smartphones, tablets and who knows how many other mobile devices, there's a pretty good chance a section of your house has slowly transformed into a rat's nest of charging cables. Gloo from Deconnect promises to restore order and look good while doing it.
Due out this July, the $159 Gloo is an accessory charger that doubles as a lamp. It can charge up to four devices at once, and if it's not plugged in itself, Gloo retains enough power to deliver up to eight full charges of a smartphone.
The most striking thing about Gloo is its design. The lamp portion of the 12.2-inch device sports a bottle shape with a fat bottom that tapers up to a slender top. A companion app for Android and iOS lets you set the Gloo's color and brightness.
Meanwhile, the charging portion of the Gloo tucks away discreetly into the bottom of the device. Pull it down, and you'll find 2 USB ports, a micro-USB port and a retractable Lightning cable. (Perhaps fittingly, I was checking out Gloo at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona at precisely the moment rumors began to circulate that Apple might remove the Lightning jack from its next iPhone.)
Another Gloo feature seems like a tacked-on function at first glance. You can attach a 360-degree camera to the top of the lamp, with Gloo manufacturer Deconnect offering the camera as an optional accessory. Deconnect touts the Gloo 360 Cap as a fun way to capture group photos, but the touted social element seems pretty far afield for a device whose central purpose is to keep your mobile devices juiced up.
While Deconnect is pitching the product to restaurants, bars and other businesses as a way to provide customers with charging on the go — the promised Gloo app could even feature a tab that lets you track down nearby businesses that have Gloo charging stations on hand — the device seems perfectly suited to the home, particularly one in which you want to add a little style to your power sources.