This Soccer Ball Generates Energy While You Play, And You Can Buy It Now
The Soccket is designed to replace kerosene lights in the developing world by converting games to electricity.
The Soccket, a soccer ball that generates and stores electricity during game play, was born in 2009. The ball was immediately a hit. For every 30 minutes of play, the ball can juice up an LED lamp for three hours, cutting down on toxic kerosene lamp use. Just plug an LED lamp into the light, and voila, free energy.
Uncharted Play has made some changes to the ball since it was first developed. The first iteration could be inflated and deflated, but it didn’t last long. The second ball was really heavy. The third ball wasn’t that heavy, but it was rigid and had a full-size gyroscope inside. The version available on Kickstarter (a standard Soccket and lamp goes for $99) is dense, water-resistant, made with a super light foam, and contains a fist-sized gyroscope.
“This version is significantly lighter and more efficient in terms of power generation. The only thing we couldn’t replicate in terms of a normal ball is the bounce. It was a tradeoff between wanting it to be hard or light with no bounce,” says Matthews.
In addition to the standard ball, Uncharted Play is offering tricked-out upgrades for backers if it reaches certain stretch goals in the Kickstarter campaign. One version has emergency cell phone charging capability, so users can charge their iPhones instead of a lamp. Another features a revision to the circuit board that tells players how much energy they have generated.