In a time when popular culture is dominated by a bird-chested pop singer trying to kill himself in his Lambo and a sex tape star’s bastard child, it’s nice to know that there are still people in the so-called “Me Me Me Generation” who are out there using their brains for more than just porn storage. What started as a crazy idea by Harvard students Jessica Matthews and Julia Silverman in 2008, has developed into a clever, groundbreaking technological advancement that could very well change peoples’ lives in third world nations – soccer balls that can generate and store electric power.
Their idea was pretty basic – a ball that harnesses energy. But Matthews and Silverman had no clue what to do from there, and that led them to Boston University engineering student Victor Angel, who now serves as the product manager of their venture, Uncharted Play, which is hoping to begin full-scale production of these “Soccket” balls next month.
And as soccer teams from across the planet prepare for the 2014 World Cup, Uncharted Play is developing their soccer balls with the hopes that they could end up, at the very least, helping people save on their candle bills.
“As the ball rolls, the mechanism spins a generator to produce electricity that goes through our custom port and is stored in a lithium ion battery like those in laptops,” Angel explained.
“This is not intended to solve the world’s energy crisis,” Angel said. “But it conveys the idea that play is good and sustainability is not necessarily about making sacrifices. You can have fun while creating a benefit for the environment.” (Via Inside Science)
When they finally become available, the Soccket balls will come in packs with 10 lamps that will provide one hour of light each, while only requiring 25 seconds of charging time with the ball. In a perfect world, not only do these become huge sellers, but they’ll also be produced in Xbox remote and fried chicken bucket form so they can be sold in America, too.