In 2008, a group of Harvard undergraduates came up with the idea for a soccer ball that harvests kinetic energy generated through play, and stores it as electric energy for later use. After playing with the ball, a child can use it to power small appliances, like an LED lamp, for reading and performing other household activities at night. The award-winning concept, called the sOccket, was recognized for its potential to address child energy poverty in the developing world in way that was clean, simple, portable and fun!
And now one of them could be yours.
In May, Jessica Matthews, 23, and Julia Silverman, 22, two of the original inventors of the sOccket, founded Uncharted Play, a social enterprise dedicated to developing products that “address issues of global importance while injecting more joy into each day.” Uncharted Play recently announced it will auction off a limited number of its flagship sOcckets to benefit resource-poor children around the world. The “Buy One, Give Many” auction will take place on September 15, and for every $50 bid on the sOcckets, Uncharted Play will donate a sOccket to a child in need.
Following the auction, the new sOccket will be unveiled to the public at an Open House Gallery exhibit in New York City on September 23. Visitors to the space will have the opportunity to play with the ball on the indoor grass field, and see the ball powering different electrical appliances. A select number of sOcckets will be available for pre-sale at the exhibit as well.
The original prototype sOccket used an inductive coil mechanism to generate power, but the element only lasted a few months before breaking down, and was very expensive to produce. Uncharted Play has not revealed the mechanics of the new sOccket model; only that it’s made with 95% recyclable materials, and ensures a product lifespan of 3-15 years.