Congrats to Jessica Lin, Jessica Matthews, Julia Silverman and Hemali Thakkar for being honored with the “Next Generation Award” by Popular Mechanics for an energy-gerating soccer ball.
The four were undergrads at Harvard when they figured out a way to harness the kinetic energy of a soccer ball and use that as a LED light for families in the sub-Saharan African desert.
The way the sOccket works is that, after 15 minutes of kicking it around, the ball can put out three hours of light, an alternative to the kerosene lamps used in a place where less than 25 percent of the population has access to reliable electricity. The device was field-tested in South Africa during last summer’s World Cup.
The sOccket also has an imbedded DC jack and weighs only 5 ounces more than a FIFA-regulated ball. A future model is planned to generate enough juice to charge a cellphone.