Saturday, March 31, 2012

Power Generating Soccer Ball!

Soccket Power Generating Soccer Ball
Through the website of one of our readers, a product designer from the Bay Area industrial design group Focus PDM, we found out about this very ingenious power-generating soccer ball, the Soccket.The Soccket is an "energy-harvesting" device... by means of an internal electricity-generating mechanism, it converts the kinetic energy imparted to it when kicked or thrown into electricity that is used to charge an internal battery. A socket under a flap on the ball is provided for connection of the battery  to a cellphone, an LED lamp, a water purifier, etc.

So, you have some fun playing soccer, and then recover some of the energy you expended in the form of electricity... cool.

The Soccket started life as a class project of Jessica Matthews and Julia Silverman in 2008 when they were Harvard undergrads. They realized that a product like this would be both fun and useful for people in the developing world who don't have easy access to an electrical grid. So, after graduation, they set up shop in New York City and put together a team to form Uncharted Play, with a mission to design and develop what they call "FUNctional" products that bridge the worlds of play and need. You can read about the genesis of the Soccket and Uncharted Play here.

The design team at Focus PDM worked with Uncharted Play to redesign the Soccket for improved performance and greater efficiency, and durability. Check out this excellent interview with Julia Silverman at Popular Mechanics about Uncharted Play's plans to distribute the Soccket globally, while you are at it. And do visit the Uncharted Play website... it is beautifully designed, has some info about how the Soccket works, and news about more FUNctional products that are in the pipeline.

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