Believe it or not, there are many places in the world that don’t get electricity, like Sub-Saharan Africa where less than 10% of homes (if you can call them that) get electricity. Moreover, many of these places have decreasing rates of electrification – meaning it’s not getting any better; it’s getting worse. That’s why products like the Soccket might just change the world.
The Soccket is an unlikely combination of soccer ball and light source. Powered by the kinetic energy built by kicking it around, it serves as a generator of sorts. Only 2 ounces heavier than a regular soccer ball, the Soccket houses a pendulum-like mechanism inside that is activated by play. After 30 minutes of use, you can use the Soccket as a totally off-grid power source – with enough power to illuminate a LED lamp for up to 3 hours.
Upon face value the Soccket might seem like an amusing novelty, but it’s ability to changes lives lies in theses magic words: “off-grid power source.” Many third world countries exist off the power grid or can’t afford electricity, either due to soaring rates of poverty or corrupt government ownership of utilities. Without electricity, many countries face rising infant mortality rates (every try to birth a baby in the dark?), less connection with the rest of the world due to the inability to power computers and cell phones, and lower rates of literacy, mainly because schools are unable to keep longer study hours due to the inability to light classrooms.
The Soccket is also durable; made out of a patent pending, water resistant foam, which makes it virtually indestructible and deflation proof, meaning you never have to fill it with air. And right now they are testing the Soccket in resource-poor areas of North America and South America.
Currently at 40% of their goal, the creators of the Soccket still have a way to go before they reach their $75,000 mark and yet they have already introduced a new stretch target of $150,000. If this new target is met before the current 22 day project deadline they will also include a USB adapter and emergency smartphone charger — hopefully you will have played with the ball prior to the emergency — its never a good look to start dribbling a soccer ball during an emergency.
If you want to get your hands on your very own Soccket, you can head over to the Kickstarter page. With a minimum bid of $89, your very own ball will be delivered to you by August 2013. Who knows, you might also be donating money to a world changing cause and you’ll get a soccer ball to boot.