Oct 2011 31

Back in 2009 Aspecks featured a documentary entitled “In the Hands of Gods” where five British freestylers harnessed the power of their football skills to fund a trip to Argentina to meet Maradonna. Now, four Harvard graduates working together on a group project have taken the power of football literally and created the sOccket, a football that captures and stores energy during normal game play to be used to later to provide real, environmentally-friendly energy to power electrical appliances like LED lamps, water sterilization devices and mini refrigerators. This group project evolved into Uncharted Play, Inc. which was founded by Jessica O. Matthews and Julia C. Silverman as a platform to voice their belief in the power of play and the value of sustainable innovation. sOccket attempts to address the compelling energy needs of 1.5 billion people living without electricity. Every 15 minutes of play with the ball generates enough power to light up an LED lamp for 3 hours.


Now it would be an extravagant claim indeed to state that the sOccket is the silver bullet that can address all of the world’s ever increasing energy needs. However, it is impossible to deny the ingenuity of four female students to harness the kinetic energy of something as simple as a football to provide a potentially life-changing source of energy. The problem of course is ensuring that this sustainable innovation reaches those that are in the most need. sOccket may be just one small solution yet it is organisations like Uncharted Play, a zero-profit social enterprise with its focused development of fun products and services that address real-world problems that lead the way in thinking outside of the box to offer simple, local solutions for global problems. Always knew that football had the capacity to unify the world but certainly never thought that it would be powering it too!

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