All set to be kicked off in this World Cup (on a trial basis) is a football that generates electricity to charge a cell phone or power a light from a short kick.
Four female undergraduate students, from Harvard University, who wanted to find a solution to the developing world's chronic power shortages, designed the ball named sOcckets.
AdvertisementThe ball works by a 'shake to charge' torch, in which a magnetic ball rolls through a coil to generate an electric charge.
The ball generates enough electricity to power an LED light for three hours in just 15 minutes of being kicked around. It can charge virtually any kind of mobile phone.
"Soccer is something you will find in every African country," one of sOccket's inventors, Jessica Lin, said.
"People play for hours days, so we thought, 'Why not try to get a little more out of that energy,'" she added.
Lin said that the main motive was to withhold the passion for football particularly among children in Africa's poorest communities to provide them with reading torches when the light fades.
Julia Silverman who also worked on the project brought the ball to South Africa's towns for trials to coincide with the World Cup.
"The kids call it 'the magic ball'. Whenever you see a child plug in their ball for the first time and see the torch light up from the energy they've created, their eyes light up too it's a wonderful feeling," The Telegraph quoted Julia as saying.
"If you think that the energy generated by a 15-minute kick around provides three hours of light, you can read a lot of pages from a textbook in that time," she added.
The sOccket ball may be available online by the end of 2010. The team intends to sell them to people in developed countries in a buy-one-give-one scheme in which the second ball will be sent to charities working in African towns.
"Obviously, this won't be a regulation ball," Lin said.
"But it's a big improvement over some of the makeshift balls the kids create from things like old plastic bags," she added.