Soccer Balls Light Up Latin America

According to State Farm, 31 million people in Latin America today live without electricity. The insurance provider has joined forces with Uncharted Play to address this issue by harnessing an abundant renewable energy resource in Latin America: soccer.

The appropriately named sOccket is a a soccer ball that harnesses and stores kinetic energy during play for later use as a power source — an idea that TED has noted holds “revolutionary potential for the developing world” and Parade Magazine hailed as ““one of the most amazing discoveries of 2010.″  State Farm’s Juega Hoy. Ilumina el Mañana (Play Today. Illuminate Tomorrow) program will be sending loads of these power-generating balls to Latin American communities in need in association with the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup, the event that will decide the soccer champion of the North American, Central American, and Caribbean region.

sOccket kinetic energy charger

image via Uncharted Play

As part of the State Farm program, audience members at select CONCACAF events will have the opportunity to generate energy — by playing with the prototype balls — for their participating Latin American Gold Cup country of choice.

Both physical and virtual play will be tracked and recorded, and, of course, (since this is a marketing campaign) the more play that occurs, the more sOccket balls State Farm will ship to Latin American countries in need. (Every 15 minutes of play equals one ball that will be donated.) Partipants will also have the opportunity to vote on which Latin American countries they would like sOccket balls sent to.

More about the origins of the sOccket is available online.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.