Image via Greendix Youtube video
A solar powered football? Sure, we could see kinetic powered, but solar powered? That might be one of the dumbest uses for Greendix's new solar panels that can be shaped into all sorts of strange things. The company has taken the black leather patches of a traditional soccer ball and replaced them with solar cells to try and show off their product. But, what does the solar cells power? Why, a "tracking sound" emitted every time it's kicked. And why did they do that? The company states it's so that one day visually impaired people can play football. It sounds more like the company just wanted to jump on the World Cup marketing bandwagon. In fact, the company admits as much with their press release:
Joseph Lin, President of Greendix commented, "These solar footballs were created to celebrate the current World Cup and demonstrates that solar panels can be integrated into objects such as balls. The main goal of this project was to prove that solar panels can be integrated into any object that we interact with on a daily basis and to push the limits of what is possible with solar panels."
It's one thing to create a sound-emitting soccer ball that can help visually impaired people take part in the game. But it's another to power it with solar cells, which are a) expensive and b) get damaged when users do things like, oh, kick them. That just makes you look really uncreative and wasteful. If the company wanted to show how solar cells can actually be integrated into our daily lives, they could have figured out how to put it into something practical like -- yep, we've got to say it -- solar powered clothing.
Put the solar cells into a football jersey worn by fans, which can power something more useful like a cell phone or a radio to listen to the game... They could even pair it up with another weird solar device, the Cooladio radio/cooler. Now that would have been a useful tribute to the World Cup.
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