We write about piezoelectric generators from time to time, like sneakers that can power your gadgets or kinetic-energy harvesting sidewalks or wave-powered speakers that let us communicate with dolphins, all of which generate energy from movement. Another great example of this type of energy harvesting is the Soccket: a soccer ball that generates energy from play.
The Soccket, made by Uncharted Play, is made from a durable, water resistant material that never needs inflation. Inside it contains a gyroscope mechanism that captures the energy from all the rolling and bouncing that occurs during a soccer game and stores it into a battery. The Soccket has a six-watt power output that can then power small appliances and devices like lamps, cell phones, fans, water sterilizers and hot plates.
With just 30 minutes of play, the Soccket can provide three hours of lamp light.
In developing countries the Soccket is able to give families a power source for lighting and cooking in place of kerosene lamps and wood-burning stoves that cause indoor pollution and numerous health problems for those that use them. And it gives kids an outlet for play that has the added bonus of bringing something beneficial back to the family.
In the developed world, the Soccket can be a great tool for teaching about clean energy and a better way to charge our gadgets.
The energy-harvesting ball has already won many innovation awards and been lauded by the Clinton Global Initiative and at TED Conferences. Uncharted Play is now working on a new ball called Ludo that "tracks the time you spend playing with it and wirelessly uploads your play data to The Play Fund, Uncharted Play's new online giving platform. With the Ludo and The Play Fund, your play time is converted into currency that can be used to donate real-world items to support social projects.”
The Ludo is set for a 2013 launch.