Friday, October 12, 2012

Finally, A Battery You Can Kick

My original intention here kind of collapsed on me, so now we've gotta get a little creative so you have some content to look at.

How about a power-generating soccer ball? One you can actually play with? That's the idea behind the Soccket, made by Uncharted Play. The inside of the ball contains a gyroscope hooked up to a battery. When you play with the ball, the kicking, bouncing, rolling and jostling gives the gyroscope a workout, and the energy from that is sent into the battery. The battery- while still inside the ball- can then be used for a six-watt output, good enough to power a small appliance, plugged into an outlet located on the ball's single orange panel (meaning you don't have to fumble around the ball looking for it). 30 minutes of play is figured to translate to three hours worth of battery life.

This, as you might expect, is a developing-world item. It's probably not going to see much use in, say, Denver, although it is made in the United States. But if you want in on the action, may I suggest the currently-in-development Ludo, featured on Uncharted Play's front page. What the Ludo is going to do is track how long you play with it, and send that information to Uncharted Play. They have an online donation platform they'll be setting up called the Play Fund. They'll convert your playtime into credits, which you can then use to donate items to various social projects. But that's not going to be until next year.

Until then, Americans will just have to generate power from soccer via using all the spittle gathered from yelling at Jurgen Klinsmann to power a hydroelectric plant. You had better manage to beat Antigua and Barbuda, Klinsmann.

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