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Brief Published: 26 Aug 2014

Portable Power: Uncharted Play

Soccket by Uncharted Play

New York-based Uncharted Play produces sporting equipment that uses kinetic technology to create portable energy supplies for off-grid electricity.

Originally launched on the US crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, the Soccket football gathers kinetic energy as it is played with, which can then be used to power small devices. A provided light plugs into the ball, with 30 minutes of play creating enough energy to power the light for three hours. It can also charge mobile phones, water purifiers and a mini refrigerator.

The company has 6,000 Socckets confirmed for distribution to developing countries in Africa, Central America and Asia and hopes to roll out 40,000 by the end of the year via its buy-one-give-one initiative. It has also advanced the design with an additional power share kit, designed for use in schools, which enables five portable flashlights to be charged into one ball. 

Since its initial campaign the company has also added Pulse, a jump-rope that harnesses kinetic energy in a similar way. It can be used to charge small devices, with 15 minutes of play creating enough power to add 50% charge to a smartphone.

For more advances in renewable energy, see Eco Energy: Smarter Savers and look out for our Naturally Energised report later this week. Also look to the Community section of Design Democracy: Outsider for other examples of brands looking to the positive social impact of technology.