By John Parnell
A start-up in the US is developing a football that generates and stores electricity when kicked and can be used to charge lamps and batteries.
The Soccket Ball contains an “inductive coil mechanism” that converts kinetic energy when the ball is kicked to electricity.
The project already has the backing of Spain and Barcelona forward David Villa and the Clinton Global Initiative but now needs more investment.
The group behind the ball have launched a Kickstarter crowd sourcing campaign to raise $75,000 for the next stage of its development.
At the time of writing, a $99 pledge gets you your very own Soccket and lamp, which you can divert to a developing country if you choose.
Playing with the ball for 30 minutes can power a lamp for three hours. The new investment will be used to improve the efficiency of the mechanism to increase its benefit.
Between 1.2 and 1.5 billion people live without access to electricity. Sparsely populated areas are too expensive for some developing countries to connect leaving so called off grid solutions, typically small solar panels, as the only option.
Mobiles have become a valuable tool in developing countries with mobile based micro finance and agricultural SMS alerts just some of the advantages they can bring to the rural poor.
Many living off the main electricity grid will pay to charge their mobile phone at central locations.
The Soccket’s lamp could also give a boost to education by allowing children to study at home after dark.
Replacing kerosene lamps and candles, with electric lighting also has health benefits from the removal of their fumes.
Ban Ki-moon’s Sustainable Energy for All project has targeted a doubling in renewable energy globally and as the name suggests, universal access to energy by 2030.
Video: Soccket’s Kickstarter pledge