For residents of limited means in regions with scarce resources (e.g. rural off-grid areas in developing countries), having any access to electricity can be a challenge. One organization, called Uncharted Play, is helping to address this stark reality through its product, a hybrid soccer ball that transforms the kinetic energy from play into a a power source for an LED lamp. Just a half-hour's worth of play can light that LED lamp for up to three hours.
Naturally, the weight of the ball is a tad heavier than a standard issue regulation soccer ball to make room for all the gadgetry within it-----such as a magnet and an inductive coil that acts in pendulum-like fashion to transform kinetic energy into potential energy until the latter is used to power the LED light. In fact, when the ball is at play, the magnet is forced through the coil to produce the voltage that generates electricity.
This soccer ball, named Soccket (coined for combining "soccer" and "socket"), likewise has its durable advantages, according to the four Harvard graduates comprising Uncharted Play. For instance the organization claims that Soccket does NOT puncture in terrain that's rough, nor does it ever need to be inflated. Moreover, Soccket has a water-resistant exterior that protects the single bulb lamp it houses.
Uncharted Play has even developed emergency cellphone chargers as well as energy-tracking devices that can be attached to its energy-generating soccer ball.
Of course, as with any entrepreneurial venture in the startup phase, Uncharted Play still needs more funding to further develop, manufacture, and distribute Soccket. The group thereby has a Kickstarter campaign to generate the necessary funds to "get the ball rolling." They can also be reached on their website at: http://unchartedplay.com/contact/
While Soccket has been touted to be advantageous for the developing world, there's another crowd that's very excited about having a Soccket of their own: the many hikers, campers, travelers, and even those end-of-the-world doomsday survivalists. Indeed, why be concerned about the fire hazard possibilities of candlelight or lack of kerosene for lamps when just a mere 30 minutes of kicking Soccket around in a soccer match can provide three hours of LED lighting? Not only is Soccket portable as a generator, but it likewise provides a lot of fun exercise and play. Now THAT'S entertaining illumination!