What If Schoolkids Could Light Up Their Homes At Night By Kicking A Ball Around During The Day? Actually, They Can!
There is a soccer ball that kids can play around with during the day and use to power their reading lamps at night. It is already used by 35,000 households in Nigeria and counting.
In some remote parts of the world, basic amenities like electricity are not so basic. In such communities, night time comes with pitch darkness and the only way out — for those who can afford it — is gasoline generators which give off toxic fumes while doing the job of providing temporary power.
This difficulty in accessing reliable, environmentally-friendly, and affordable electricity makes such areas especially hard for children to live in as they are deprived of the common comforts of life.
For the kids that can actually go to school, studying at night is out of the question and this takes away from their academics, given that they spend most of the day playing, running errands, doing chores, or even doing small jobs of their own to support their cash-strapped families.
An innovative company is looking to solve the power problem in rural communities in an interesting way — they want the kids to play more so that they can study at night. No, really, the more the kids play the during, the more electricity they can have at night. That’s basically what this innovation is about.
Soccer is the most popular sport in the world. So why not harness its power for good? That’s exactly what a US-based startup known as Uncharted Play, is offering with an innovative product which they call “Soccket”. The product came to light in 2015.
The Soccket is an energy-harnessing soccer ball that generates electricity through harnessing the kinetic energy created when it is kicked and played with. The fully-functional “power ball” can power an LED light.
One minute of kicking around this portable generator produces around six minutes of light. Children in developing countries without reliable sources of electricity can play their favorite game and then plug in the light to read, do homework, and help illuminate their homes.
With the look, feel and durability of a traditional soccer ball, the Soccket can produce more than three hours of light with as little as 30 minutes of play.
As an off-grid, internally-powered generator, the airless ball is designed to be able to be charged and used anywhere by any age group. Because of this feature, the power ball is a great tool for school children whose education are often hindered by a lack of reliable light sources.
In many underdeveloped communities where soccer is a favorite pastime of school children and adults alike, the Soccket does prove a smart platform for sustainable and renewable energy. In Nigeria, for instance, where electricity generation and distribution is still a big challenge, the Soccket has already provided clean power to more than 35,000 families and counting.
However, Nigeria is not the only beneficiary of the product. Uncharted Play has also taken the Soccket to Mexico, Haiti, and a number of developing countries in Latin America and West Africa. The company is hoping to bring sustainable power to the nearly 1.2 billion people who don’t have access to reliable or affordable energy sources globally.
The goal is to make the Soccket more readily available to children in parts of the world that are especially bedeviled by electricity challenges, and there is a charity angle too. With every purchase of the Soccket, Uncharted Play donates one to a child in need. If any child can play, they can have electricity too.
Featured Image Courtesy: borgenproject.org