Goals, Not Coal: Energy-Harvesting Soccer Ball Illuminates Impoverished Lives

As the world (rightly) shifts away from dependence on fossil fuels and begins to cultivate new avenues of obtaining energy, it seems the sky is the limit for innovative ideas.  However, by "sky", we don't mean that solar has to be the sole rock 'n roller of the possibilities.  Watch how a small company has provided help to impoverished areas with a sustainable source of portable, playful power...

Even if you don't like sports, this is pretty cool.
(Image courtesy espn.go.com.)

According to USA Today, the company Uncharted Play has created a soccer ball that harvests kinetic energy from kicks.  Known as the Soccket, it has the amazing ability to provide 3 hours of LED lamp power from an internal socket after being booted around for a mere half an hour.

"Better hurry up and play some soccer so you can get your homework done!"  Good trade.
(Image courtesy mudassarplusplus.wordpress.com.)

Developed to help third world nations gain the safety, greater hours for learning, and other abundant wonders that electric light provides, the Soccket has adapters that tap the electrical flow from the inside and convert it to where it's needed the most.  Other items, such as phones, fans, or filters can also benefit from the power.

Sports = fans for the Soccket's sports fans.
(Image courtesy fundable.com.)

Inventor Jessica O. Matthews brainstormed the idea from simple elements after being charged by a professor to invent something scientific with social merit.  "It was just high school physics, using a shake-to-charge flashlight and a hamster wheel," Matthews explains.

Using these same simple principles, Uncharted Play has also developed the Pulse jump rope, which offers an astonishing 6 hours of LED light, or half of an iPhone charge, for only 15 minutes of skipping.  They should put these in every bar in America and watch the hipsters twitch.  (BTW, if you feel like donating one to a more worthy cause, Uncharted Play will match your purchase...the Pulse and the Soccket are both sold as buy-one-donate-one at UnchartedPlay.com.)

Here's whats in it's guts.
(Image courtesy oscar-salguero.co.)

Williams feels that, among other more serious elements, a "lack of fun" is a major contributor as to why more people don't make an effort to solve social problems.  "Social issues are often serious and sad and endemic, but that's where psychology comes in," she explains. "It's the job of companies to design systems that make it easier for people to do good."

Check out Uncharted Play's video and see how much the Soccket looks like a great way to do good.

Socck on!

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