Technology March 27, 2013
The Soccket: A New Soccer Ball That Generates Electricity


In the future, spectacular plays on the pitch may actually be electrifying.

This is a new soccer ball that converts kinetic energy into electricity. And apparently, it won't break if it hits the goal post.

It's called the "Soccket" and is the brainchild of two Harvard students, Jessica O. Matthews and Julia Silverman, who came up with the idea in their junior year.

Inside the ball, there's a small pendulum. As the ball rolls, the pendulum harnesses kinetic energy by turning a generator that's connected to a rechargeable battery.

After half an hour of play, the ball is said to generate enough electricity to power a small lamp for three hours.

According to co-inventor Matthews, it's "a durable, eco-friendly portable generator in the form of a soccer ball." It's been in development for four years - appropriately, the time between World Cups.

This allowed the designers time to refine the weight, shape and internal mechanisms so it would be market-ready.

The "Soccket" is "aimed at helping impoverished communities with no access to generated power." Celebrity supporters include Canadian rapper/singer-songwriter K'naan.

It's only an ounce or two heavier than a normal ball and it doesn't need to be inflated and doesn't deflate.

Matthews and Silverman started a company called Uncharted Play based in New York, which has raised $86,949 on Kickstarter (its goal was $75,000).

So far, they've distributed the ball in underdeveloped areas of Mexico, South Africa and Brazil.

Oldestsoccerball3.jpg Soccer balls have come a long way. The world's first vulcanized rubber soccer ball was designed and patented in 1855 by American inventor Charles Goodyear of tire fame.

The ball (on the right) was made using vulcanized rubber panels glued at the seams. The rubber replaced animal bladders, which had been used but weren't exactly reliable due to their volatile trajectories.

Via Inhabitat


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