In areas with poor or nonexistent power grids, diesel, kerosene, and wood fires are often the only way to generate electricity or light.
THE DESIGN SOLUTION
TURNING PLAYTIME INTO CLEAN, FREE POWER
Uncharted Play tucked a micro-generator inside a soccer ball for a toy that generates clean energy.
" It's about bringing a sense of play into children's lives and inspiring them to take matters into their own hands."
— Jessica Matthews, Co-Founder and CEO
Generating power generates pollution
In the developing world, the electrical grid is often unreliable and sometimes nonexistent. Many people supplement or replace it with diesel and kerosene generators or even wood fires, all of which produce toxic fumes and harmful particulates.
HOW IT WORKS
The Uncharted Play SOCCKET is a durable, environmentally friendly soccer ball that's within one ounce of regulation weight.
A rotational pendulum inside turns a micro-generator as the SOCCKET is kicked and bounced.
The power is stored in a small battery that can charge LED lights.
When the battery runs low, recharging is as easy as kicking the ball around for a while.
Uncharted Play co-founder Jessica Matthews wanted to tackle the problem of clean energy for a Harvard University design class while simultaneously encouraging children to think creatively about problem-solving. In 2012, she presented the first prototype, an off-the-shelf soccer ball containing a safety flashlight that charged when shaken, at the Clinton Global Initiative Conference. Seed money from Harvard allowed her to hire a product development firm, then bring the design in-house to finalize it.
Q & A
Why is Uncharted Play revolutionary?
Our products leverage existing behavior and capitalize on play to provide clean and renewable energy. We've also created a school curriculum to inspire the next generation.
How does Uncharted Play help solve the challenge of energy scarcity?
They're meant to be the spark that jolt people into realizing what's possible — that the most interesting ideas can come from places they don't expect.
LEARN MORE ABOUT UNCHARTED PLAY
UP is expanding into other areas that leverage its proprietary M.O.R.E. (Motion-Based, Off-Grid, Renewable Energy) technology. In addition to developing accessories for the SOCCKET, the company now offers the PULSE, a jump rope that generates enough power as it rotates to charge a mobile phone. UP sells its products in the domestic market through its online store on the company’s website; with every purchase, UP donates a product to one child in the developing world via local NGOs.