Kick it around for a while

Eviles Emiley Hope | April/May 2010 issue

Four Harvard University students are bringing portable, sustainable power to off-grid areas in developing countries—through soccer balls that store energy. While in an engineering science class, Jessica Lin, Julia Silverman, Jessica Matthews and Hemali Thakkar created the sOccket. Using technology similar to that of shake-to-charge flashlights, the sOccket collects enough energy to illuminate a small LED light for three hours after every 15 minutes of play. To tap the stored power, you just attach an adapter—or any other appliance—to the socket on the ball.
The sOccket was a hit last year when it was tested in Durban, South Africa. Lin noticed the “children were fascinated by the concept of the sOccket and were excited to play.” Given the widespread love of the game, it’s not hard to imagine the sOccket providing enough energy for days rather than hours. The invention offers an alternative for off-grid areas that depend on kerosene lamps, which pose major health and environmental risks.
When the World Cup kicks off this summer in South Africa, the sOccket team hopes to unveil a completed model, ready to sell by the end of the year to Western markets as a high-tech gadget. They then plan to distribute sOcckets in the developing world at little or no cost using a “buy one/give one” model.

Solution News Source

Kick it around for a while

Eviles Emiley Hope | April/May 2010 issue

Four Harvard University students are bringing portable, sustainable power to off-grid areas in developing countries—through soccer balls that store energy. While in an engineering science class, Jessica Lin, Julia Silverman, Jessica Matthews and Hemali Thakkar created the sOccket. Using technology similar to that of shake-to-charge flashlights, the sOccket collects enough energy to illuminate a small LED light for three hours after every 15 minutes of play. To tap the stored power, you just attach an adapter—or any other appliance—to the socket on the ball.
The sOccket was a hit last year when it was tested in Durban, South Africa. Lin noticed the “children were fascinated by the concept of the sOccket and were excited to play.” Given the widespread love of the game, it’s not hard to imagine the sOccket providing enough energy for days rather than hours. The invention offers an alternative for off-grid areas that depend on kerosene lamps, which pose major health and environmental risks.
When the World Cup kicks off this summer in South Africa, the sOccket team hopes to unveil a completed model, ready to sell by the end of the year to Western markets as a high-tech gadget. They then plan to distribute sOcckets in the developing world at little or no cost using a “buy one/give one” model.

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