A football that produces electricity!

Posted on 07 July 2016.

This football transforms the energy it absorbs during play into electricity. And potentially gives many children access to a source of electricity.

Dribbling, passing and penalties, scoring a goal may now be more useful than it seems. Julia Silverman and Jessica O. Matthews, while both students at America’s prestigious University of Harvard, had an idea that revolutionizes the round ball. Their invention? To use football’s popularity to create a source of renewable and exploitable energy - absolutely worldwide and off grid. Thanks to them, a simple round ball can recover the energy it absorbs when it’s kicked or bounced, and turn it into electricity.

A battery and a generator under its skin

The invention has been named Soccket – a combination of the words soccer and socket – and looks just like a normal football. Except that it’s green. Made of 95% recycled materials, under its upcycled skin it hides a battery and a generator in the form of an induction coil. Result? Thanks to a USB port and kinetic energy, the ball becomes an LED lamp at the end of the game. Thirty minutes of play will provide three hours of electricity. Enough to provide light for children that would otherwise be in the dark, allowing them to read, do their homework and move around in the dark without fear.

A jump rope and a Smartphone

This innovation has now led to the creation of a New York start-up. Uncharted Play, headed by Jessica O. Matthews, distributes the Soccket to families with no electricity via NGOs. For them it is the end of having to use fossil fuels, for example in kerosene lamps, with all the negative impacts for their health and the environment. And based on the principle that play and movement are great ways of feeling good for both children and adults, Uncharted Play has also developed Pulse, which is a jump rope that provides enough energy to recharge a Smartphone. As long as you’ve jumped enough rope of course!