|georgem4 (United Kingdom)|
An average home in the Western World has more than 40 power supplies for electronic devices from phone chargers to LCD TVs (internal or external). Power supplies transform AC current to DC, usually 5-12V. We can easily produce power supplies that can serve multiple devices in a single box - we already do that in personal computers. All the electronics industry have to do is remove the power supplies from their devices and give us standardised plugs to plug into the standardized sockets of these new power supplies.
The benefits: First of all no fiddly power supplies, smaller and cheaper devices, smaller and more flexible power cables, no problems with 110V/220V differences, no problems with plug/socket differences (same product can be sold anywhere in the world without modifications). You chose your power supply separately so you can buy the budget one or the really expensive one with remote control flashing little lights and little buttons that usually men really like. It's a whole new product on its own!
Also, if needed, add some rechargeable batteries to your power supply and you have a mini-UPS that keep powering some or all of the devices (phones are a good example) during a black-out.
Later, homes can have a central power supply (or power supplies, depends on maximum distance from devices due to losses) that are hidden from view and feed all electronic devices through wall sockets. Furthermore, it is far easier to locally produce low voltage DC with solar panels and that can be fed to the system and reduce AC electricity usage.
I am only surprised it hasn't been implemented yet.
Reward: A mention of whose idea it was would be nice.