March 1, 2013 report
Kickstarter project launches for SOCCKET—soccer ball that generates electricity
(Phys.org) —A collaboration between groups Uncharted Play and Power the World, has resulted in the creation of a soccer ball generator they call the SOCCKET—when used, it generates enough electricity to power an attachable LED lamp for up to three hours. The team has been testing their ball for over a year in impoverished regions of North and South America and are ready to begin mass production—but to do that, they need investment funds, which is why they've created a Kickstarter project.
The SOCCKET is a simple yet brilliant concept. It's a soccer (football) ball made of EVA foam with a pendulum-like mechanism inside that converts movement into electricity to charge a small battery. A small LED lamp can be attached to the ball once the battery has been charged to provide light—playing with the ball for just 30 minutes is enough to produce light for up to three hours.
The SOCCKET is the result of over a year of tinkering with the basic design, in its current form, it weighs 17 ounces—just one ounce more than a standard soccer ball. It's airless, which means it can be used (played with) without need for a pump and won't ever go flat. It's waterproof and manufactured in the United States. The team is seeking $75,000 to develop a manufacturing process to mass produce the balls which should lower their cost dramatically. Currently, those willing to "donate" $89 or more to the project can get one for themselves.
But that's not the point of course, the whole reason for developing the SOCCKET was to provide people who are going without light at night (for whatever reason), a simple, fun and easy way to power a lamp that can be used for a full evening. This way, children, adults or a combination thereof can power their light source while having fun playing soccer, a sport that can be played nearly anywhere there is a reasonably flat surface.
Members of the team say on their Kickstarter page that they are looking into adding a USB connection to the SOCCKET so that devices other than just the lamp (such as cell phones) can take advantage of the charged battery. That will depend, of course, on how well their funding effort goes.
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