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Power-Generating Soccer Ball Gets Big Kick From Obama

Science & Tech  (tags: business, design, concept, discovery, environment, NewTechnology, science, Soccer ball, technology, world )

- 1808 days ago -
Kick a ball, power a light, empower a people--welcome back to the wonderful world of sOccket. The soccer ball that will bring light from play.

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Kit B (276)
Saturday July 6, 2013, 6:30 pm
Photo Credit: Pete Souza/White House -- In Tanzania, President Obama juggles sOccket, an energy-capturing soccer ball.

The interweb was positively giddy today with a video and pics of President Obama in Tanzania kicking and juggling sOccket, a soccer ball that generates and captures kinetic energy during play and stores the juice for later use as a power source.

To the President, the travelling White House press corps, and all you newly energized sOccket fans, I’d not-so humbly say: Get in line, dudes.

We here at TakePart have been ginormous fans and champions of the energy-producing orb for the better part of the last three years.

Our love affair began in 2010, on the eve of the South Africa World Cup, with an exclusive feature about a soccer ball that could light up the developing world. It blossomed later that fall, when we partnered with American Express to produce this short film. Later, in 2011, we caught up with one of the ball’s cofounders, Jessica Matthews, for a follow-up story on the progress of sOccket 2.0.

The genius of sOccket is that a kid in a developing nation can play a quick game of soccer after school, leave the pitch, take the ball home, plug a basic lamp into a built-in AC jack, and then have enough light to do his or her homework. (I know, I know: so elegant, so simple.)
***See Video at VISIT SITE***

This play-to-(home)work notion is vital for sub-Saharan Africans, 95 percent of whom live without access to electricity.

“For us, it’s more about trying to give people who really need this ball—people who don’t have access to reliable power—hope,” said Matthews, in 2011. She and Julie Silverman co-invented the ball in 2008 for a class at Harvard University. “Changing the way they view the world, making them believe in the magic of what’s possible. It’s really cool,” continued Matthews.

The ball’s internal mechanics have continued to evolve over the years, and the current iteration is capable of generating several hours of cell phone or flashlight usage after only 30 minutes of play.

In Tanzania, Obama told reporters that his administration is distributing the balls across Africa as part of an initiative aimed at doubling access to electrical power on the continent.

By: Salvatore Cardoni | Take Part Magazine |


pam w (139)
Sunday July 7, 2013, 9:19 am
Now, that's just BRILLIANT!

Sara V (0)
Sunday July 7, 2013, 10:15 am
Great idea, but why is the Obama administration involved? Spending a few dollars on a trendy humanitarian program should not distract us from the fact that the administration is killing innocent people throughout the Middle East - leaving a bloody trail through Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Libya, and is now targeting Iran and Syria. If U.S. troops stayed home more good would be done than these soccer balls will ever do.

Birgit W (160)
Sunday July 7, 2013, 1:40 pm

David C (129)
Sunday July 7, 2013, 2:35 pm
noted, thanks.......hope to see many of these around the world

Past Member (0)
Sunday July 7, 2013, 8:06 pm

JL A (281)
Monday July 8, 2013, 10:07 am
I loved this idea when I first read about it last year and am so glad to hear Obama chose to give it heightened attention since wider use could make such a difference in more people's lives.

Bryna Pizzo (139)
Tuesday July 9, 2013, 11:24 am
Thank you for the fascinating post!

Melania Padilla (122)
Wednesday July 24, 2013, 11:49 am
Love Takepart, thanks!
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