By Andrew Liszewski
A few years ago we brought you the PlayPump which was a clever water pumping device that was not only disguised to look like a piece of playground equipment, but was also powered by kids as they played with it. And that’s essentially the same idea behind the sOccket Ball; to convert the energy from kids playing into something useful. (Not that there’s anything wrong with kids playing.)
Inside the ball is an inductive coil system like you’d find in those flashlights you have to shake to recharge, but instead of shaking, the kids simply have to kick the ball around to charge the battery inside. 15 minutes of play results in enough energy to power an LED light for about 3 hours, which is a far better alternative to kerosene lamps. The one downside to the sOccket, if you could even call it that, is that the ball isn’t ‘regulation’ meaning it has a slightly different feel and weight than a regular soccer ball. But if the company behind the design is able to get them into production and into the hands of kids in developing nations, I don’t think anyone’s going to care.