Last week we reported on the Energy Ball, a kickball that converts impact energy–accumulated by kicking, throwing, bouncing, and otherwise using the ball–into usable energy manifested via the Energy Ball’s attachable light bulb. Today, Discovery News reports on the sOccket, a soccer ball designed and engineered by a group of Harvard students that functions similarly to the Energy Ball, but extends the concept even further.
Like the other members of her Harvard engineering student group, Jessica Lin, co-creator of the sOccket, had experience in developing worlds. When the group sat down to formulate a project idea, talk turned to children in impoverished areas who loved to play hard by day and study hard by night. The problem, the students well knew, was that those same kids only had access to unsafe forms of light, such as kerosene lanterns, by which to study. A ball that gathered and converted impact energy was thought of and the sOccket was born. Instead of the ball’s energy being harvested exclusively by a single attachable peripheral, Lin explained, the students designed the sOccket’s stored impact energy “to be used to later charge batteries and LEDs (light emitting diodes) in developing countries.”
While the sOccket website explains that the ball is still in prototype stages, it has already been tested throughout Durban, South Africa, to positive results. Having gained a prominent partner in Whizzkids United, the sOccket team is pleased to announce that a “high-end sOccket” will eventually be produced for purchase in the United States and Europe.