Energy-Harnessing Soccer Ball Scores Big As Mobile Generator

Soccer (or more correctly, football) has been the world’s favorite sport for decades. Sorry, NFL fans. All over the world, children from all walks of life dream of becoming like their favorite footballer. Unfortunately, most of these dreams take place in less than desirable living conditions. Over 1.3 billion people live without access to reliable electricity, making simple things like doing homework or eating a meal together a difficult task. A newly launched Kickstarter project hopes to tackle this problem like Manchester United’s toughest player.

At first glance, SOCCKET looks like an ordinary soccer ball. Closer inspection reveals a curious socket build into the sphere. Kick the ball around for 30 minutes, and your energy is converted in to electricity that powers an LED lamp that can be plugged directly into the built-in socket.

soccket ball

Image via Uncharted Play, Inc./Kickstarter

The secret to Soccket’s energy-harnessing ability is a pendulum-like mechanism inside that converts movement into electricity to charge a small battery, reports Phys.org. The high-tech guts only increase the ball’s weight by one ounce, virtually undetectable by those familiar with traditional soccer balls.

Originally developed by a group of Harvard students, the Soccket ball is airless (meaning it never needs to be re-inflated), waterproof and manufactured in the United States.

While powering an energy-efficient LED lamp is life-changing for soccer lovers around the world, Soccket’s creators aren’t limiting their market to developing countries. They know that when most Americans see an outlet, they immediately think about plugging in a mobile device. Thankfully, they’re also offering an emergency cell phone charger that can connect to the Soccket, but only if they meet they’re very ambitious stretch funding goal of $150,000.

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog