It turns out that over one quarter of the world’s population—live in areas with no access to electricity, according to a recent UN report. Capitalizing on a sport’s global appeal to address this problem, a group of Harvard University students developed sOccket, a soccer ball that turns energy from a kick into electricity.
The portable energy-harvesting device captures the impact energy normally dissipated when the ball is kicked, storing it to charge lights, cell phones and batteries. It works with inductive coil technology, similar to that found in flashlights that power up when shaken. For each 15 minutes of play, it can store enough energy to power a small LED light for three hours. That is not a lot but the sOccket could eventually help ease the reliance on toxic kerosene lamps in developing nations.