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Energy-Harvesting Soccer Ball Gets a Kickstart

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Elizabeth M
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Technology can change the world
Elizabeth M   3/14/2013 6:09:24 AM
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This is the kind of technology I really enjoy writing about and like to see coming out of brilliant young minds. What I didn't write in the story but maybe should've mentioned is that Harvard students came up with the idea, but it was a push from Bill Clinton, who heard about it from one of the inventors when she spoke at something he sponsored, who pushed them to commercialize it. I'm glad he did. We really need people thinking like this to help make positive changes in the world. What we take for granted could really mean a lot to someone who is not as advantaged.

RAGNAR175
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Iron
Re: Technology can change the world
RAGNAR175   3/14/2013 1:13:51 PM
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I think something like this is great for anybody and not just people or countries with energy poverty. Imagine just having it around for charging your phone after a game or having a light when walking back to your car after a game.  But one question I have is would a country like North Korea  jail anyone with possesion of the ball? I think in my case I would like to see it come in a basketball.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Technology can change the world
Elizabeth M   3/14/2013 1:17:59 PM
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Yes, that was another point that I didn't mention in the story, but also it could be good for many practical applications for anyone, which is why they are doing the Kickstarter campaign. Alison even shared a story of when she was at a music festival and needed to charge her iPhone and wished she'd had a SOCCKET to do so. I myself go camping a lot and find myself out of battery for my devices all the time. I have a charger in my VW van but it saps the van's battery. so I don't like to use it too much. A SOCCKET would be perfect. I'm sure this technology can be applicable to all sorts of playing balls in the future.

Charles Murray
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Re: Technology can change the world
Charles Murray   3/14/2013 3:28:14 PM
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What a great way to call attention to energy harvesting. It's also interesting that the developers are involved in a Kickstarter program. We're seeing Kickstarter get mentioned a lot these days. Just in the past few days I've heard it mentioned in a breathalyzer application for iPhones and in a new electronic basketball (we'll have an article about that one in the next few days).

robatnorcross
User Rank
Gold
Re: Technology can change the world
robatnorcross   3/14/2013 7:14:15 PM
Yet still another thing for the Chinese to make to sell to Americans and discuss on the factory floor "I can't believe what stupid Americans will buy".

On the other hand may be you guys didn't realize that this "press release" wasn't supposed to be released until April 1.

Dave Palmer
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Platinum
Re: Technology can change the world
Dave Palmer   3/14/2013 7:52:04 PM
@robatnorcross: Actually, it's assembled in the U.S., and is intended for distribution in the developing world.  Did you even read the article? It's a actually a neat idea.  It's not an April Fools joke; Popular Mechanics covered it in 2010, and the BBC covered it last year.  I think it's a creative concept, and one that makes a lot of sense.

Tim
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Re: Technology can change the world
Tim   3/14/2013 9:13:16 PM
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Living in hurricane country, we have a lot of power outages. Batteries can be hard to come by before a storm. This soccer ball would good to go in our hurricane kit.

Corona Rich
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Gold
Great Idea
Corona Rich   3/15/2013 9:40:04 AM
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At first, I figured this was going to be easy to make fun of...people who don't have electricity now have a means to charge their phones.  ??? 

Practially, though, a means to sterilize water would have a huge impact on many people.  For us with a limitless supply of safe water at our fingertips, it's had to imagine many people have no safe water or any means to make it safe.  Being able to charge a Steri-pen or equivalent would be a leap forward.

H in OH
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Iron
Re: Technology can change the world
H in OH   3/15/2013 10:06:13 AM
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Make the kids go out and play ball to charge batteries for their portable game systems.  Great application to drive mass production there.

araasch
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Silver
Re: Technology can change the world
araasch   3/15/2013 2:19:19 PM
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This is an obvious hoax.  The device harvests rotational energy by interaction with a gyro which freely rotates inside the ball?  What powers the gyro?  6 watts? How long can it output 6 watts?  How long to purify a cup of water at room temperature with 6 watts?  As for emergency light with energy harvesting, I have a LED flashlight with a crank generator that requires just a few turns to run for at least 15 minutes.  Much more practical than playing soccer in the dark to recharge a ball, then plug in the light.  It also is small enough to fit in a pocket or a desk drawer, not so with a soccer ball.  As for this not being a hoax since it has been shown in the media already, since when can we assume that this does not mean it is a hoax?

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