It's pretty clear how this idea came to be. We need more alternatives for clean, sustainable energy. And what has more energy to spare than anything else? Small children! Combining the two was bound to happen at some point, and the sOccket Ball has done it.
The Soccket Ball (illogical caps only get a once-through) is a pretty simple idea. It puts an inductive coil system, like the ones seen in those addicting, shaky flashlights, inside a soccer ball. The ball is going to be flying and tumbling about anyway, so why not capture all that energy and make a little electricity? Because the equipment in the soccer ball takes it right out of the realm of regulation weight. But, so long as it's just a friendly neighborhood game of soccer, practic or punt, this will work just fine.
The ball offers up 3 hours of electricity for an LED light for every 15 minutes played. That sounds pretty good on its own, but then just think about kids on a warm July day--they're going to be outside from the moment they crack the peepers to the minute it's time for bed (and maybe later if they don't want to be found). Maybe this could power buildings someday.
While it might not seem that helpful here in the U.S., the ball is being designed for Africa where most people are living off the grid. It is designed to help these people have quick, reliable (and fun) access to electricity for simple things like lighting their homes. The ball started as a Harvard University project undertaken by four female students.
The Soccket Ball is not yet available and is still in the prototype stages, according to the website. They have tested the product out in a South African youth program and have plans to bring the ball to Europe and the U.S. (might want to make it a football, baseball or basketball here).
Via Coolest Gadgets and sOccKet