The Soccket II is an amazing invention: looking just like an ordinary soccer ball, it stores kinetic energy generated by the ball's movement, enabling it to be used later to power a light or charge a cell phone or other small USB device. We've been tracking the development of the Soccket for a number of years, and the Soccket II is now available to purchase online, along with its new sibling the Pulse, an energy-storing skipping rope. With proceeds from the sale of each product supporting educational programs and product donations in developing countries, this is a great way to support a very worthy cause, while simultaneously getting kids moving and more attuned to how much effort is involved in charging their gadgets.
The Soccket was developed by Jessica O. Matthews in 2008 while she was a student at Harvard. In 2011, she launched her company, Uncharted Play, where she combines her love of social entrepreneurship with her growing business. As Matthews told Forbes earlier this year, the start-up process wasn’t necessarily smooth, but once product design issues were resolved things really took off. The Soccket is made from recyclable EVA foam, recyclable plastic and a zinc pendulum, while the Pulse is made of recyclable plastic and rubber. Both items use a metal motor and gears and a li-ion battery.
While the Soccket was initially designed to provide off-grid energy in developing countries, it’s also now available via the Uncharted Play online store. Sales support the company’s programs, including Think Out of Bounds, which uses the kinetic energy harnessing products to teach kids lessons in STEM. So what’s not to love about products that get kids and adults exercising, produce kinetically derived energy, support education initiatives and provide a much-needed energy source in developing countries? No, I can’t really think of anything either! The Soccket II and the Pulse retail for $99 each plus shipping. We think they would make a fantastic gift that gives twice this holiday season.