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?
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.
@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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
In a bid to boost the viability of lithium-based electric car batteries, a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a chemistry that could possibly double an EV’s driving range while cutting its battery cost in half.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.