Human-powered inventions are some of the niftiest gadgets ever — just look at the wind-up radio — but they’re usually not that enjoyable to charge. So why not combine function with fun, like the “Sockket” soccer ball that generates power from kinetic energy as you kick it around.
The Sockket is the creation of US-based company Uncharted Play, designed with “resource-poor” countries in mind. Fully charged, the ball can put out 6W and drive the included lamp extension for around three days. At 481g, it weighs a little more than your average soccer ball, but considering it’s airless, deflate-proof and well, can power stuff, that’s a fair trade off.
If you only need power for a short amount of time, the page mentions that 30 minutes of kicking is enough for three hours of light.
Rather than having just prototypes available, Uncharted Play is producing “a few hundred per week”, with the Kickstarter funds going towards manufacturing on a larger scale and designing additional plugins. It’s currently sitting at $US27,053 of its $US75,000 goal, with 26 days to go, so there’s a very good chance it’ll get funded (and then some).
$US99, plus an extra $US20 for deliver, will see you with your very own ball and lamp, if you’re keen.