No Electricity And Need A Light? Then SOCCKET To Me!
A group of Harvard alumni said let there be light. After some serious work and designing, and a few fun games of soccer there was light. It is a fairly simple idea to bring electricity and light to areas of the world where such things are scarce. It comes in the form of a soccer ball called SOCCKET that captures kinetic energy during play. Just a quick half hour of play can power an LED light for up to three hours.
As the ball moves a pendulum swings, gathering the energy in a tiny generator that stores it in a rechargeable battery. The ball weighs just one ounce more than a standard soccer ball. It does not need to be filled and refilled with air and sturdy enough to handle rough terrain. It is also waterproof to protect the inner workings.
Once the size 5 soccer ball has been played with long enough to be powered up, small electric and electronic devices can be plugged into the ball to be powered. It can even charge cell phones and smart phones. Each SOCCKET comes with a single-bulb LED lamp.
SOCCKET was created by inventors at Uncharted Play, a for-profit company looking at fun products and services that address real-world issues for the masses.
The company was founded by Jessica O. Matthews and Julia Silverman in 2011. They want to show the world that doing good and doing good business are not mutually exclusive.
They first met back in 2008 at Harvard where they were both studying social sciences and had no experience in engineering. They still ended up working on a class project together to build the SOCCKET, a soccer ball that doubles as a small portable generator.
From this experience they realized that play was an uncharted area that could lead to sustainable, realistic solutions to the problems that people face around the world. Development of other products are in the works.
Uncharted Play is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter so that they can advance the manufacturing process for the SOCCKET and increase production. With 20 days to go, they have raised more than half of the capital that they are seeking.
Right now SOCCKET is being used in North and South America, as well as in Africa. There are plans in the works to expand throughout the world. The company's funding partners sponsor orders of SOCCKETs that are distributed to communities in need free of charge.
SOCCKETs can be useful in many other ways even to people with electricity -- such as for camping trips, power outages, and evening barbecues on the patio.
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Laurie Kay Olson
Clever Problem Solvers