Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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All Wall Outlet

Plug into any place on the wall
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The ultimate in convenience. The outer surface of the wall is the ground plane or the "common"...just under that is a layer of insulation and just under that is the "Hot" side or the power plane. The wall plug has two little prongs that are sharp..and of unequal length...the 'ground" side only penetrates and connects the ground plane of the wall and the longer prong...the "hot" side penetrates all the way to the hot side of the wall and is insulated up the shaft where it would touch the ground plane. Perfect safety and you can collect power at any point on the wall. No need for a grounding plug, since any appliance with this kind of plug would be double insulated!

The surface of the wall is porous, rather like sound absorbing ceiling panels so prong holes would not be noticed. Only used for small appliances, too...like lamps and such.

Blisterbob, Mar 20 2007

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       And every picture you hang is electric!
Galbinus_Caeli, Mar 20 2007
  

       You should only use one spike. This spike is mostly insulated except for part of the tip. The insulated portion grips onto thick rubber foam insulation layer. Around this spike is a flat "plug" which provides ground simply by touching the wall.   

       However, this requires the use of a metalic grounded wall layer, which is not aesthetically pleasing. Instead, you can have a multi-terminal spike which looks a bit like headphone plugs. This penetrates the wallpaper so that the tip reaches the +v side while the ring around the base contacts the grounding layer. Your layers are:   

       1. Wallpaper (optional)   

       2. Thin rubber foam.   

       3. Grounded wire mesh.   

       4. Thick rubber foam.   

       5. +v wire mesh.   

       6. Thick rubber foam.   

       The plug, from inside out, is:   

       1. +v terminal spike   

       2. Insulation layer   

       3. Ground terminal tube   

       4. Large diameter flexible "plug" to prevent overpenetration
IJK, Mar 20 2007
  

       Geepers...we might actually be onto something here.
Blisterbob, Mar 20 2007
  

       I think that you would end up with a lot of wasted material for the occasional need to plug in a wall sconce, however a baseboard or cap molding constructed of such material would allow for a full perimeter outlet which would cover you for 99% of plugging in situations and would be readily retrofit able to existing homes.
jhomrighaus, Mar 20 2007
  

       "Dougal, have you finished hanging that picture yet? ... Dougal?"
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 20 2007
  

       The trouble is that an estimated 10% of homes have the phase and neutral transposed. This is understood to be because tradesmen, by and large, don't give a stuff.   

       This doesn't normally cause problems with regular appliances (in fact it is common to design in failsafes on both sides of the circuit due to this issue), however it will be a problem if the outer surface of the wall is as described. Bzzt, thud.
Texticle, Mar 20 2007
  

       How much energy is wasted in the overwhelmingly unused portion of the electrified wall?   

       And what about when you decide to rearrange the feng shui, are you left with a bunch of holes?
ColonelMuffins, Mar 21 2007
  

       What you are doing is building one very large capacitor and connecting it to a 50Hz supply.   

       I cannot help but imagine that there will be problems.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 21 2007
  
      
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