Solar soccer balls score design points
The Greendix solar-powered soccer balls
There are obviously some people out there who think that soccer balls aren’t doing enough. Earlier this year, we told you about the sOccket, a ball that generates power as it gets kicked around. Now, word comes to us of soccer ball prototypes with built-in solar panels. Where the black pentagonal sections would normally be, these balls instead have custom-designed panels that gather energy as they bask in the sun. That energy is used for running onboard motion sensors, and audio devices that emit a tracking sound whenever the balls are kicked. It is hoped that this sort of technology could be used to allow visually-impaired people to play soccer in the future.
Greendix, a company that specializes in custom solar applications, designed the balls to challenge peoples’ notions of where and how solar panels can be used. “These solar footballs were created to celebrate the current World Cup and demonstrate that solar panels can be integrated into objects such as balls,” said Joseph Lin, President of Greendix. “The main goal of this project was to prove that solar panels can be integrated into any object that we interact with on a daily basis and to push the limits of what is possible with solar panels.”
While the balls themselves are not seeing production anytime soon, their pentagon-shaped panels are already available to consumers, along with four other non-traditional shapes. Distribution is being handled by Sonelis Technologies.
It would be interesting to see a game played with one of these balls, not only to determine how well the panels could stand up to direct kicks, but also to find out if the balls actually suffice for playing soccer.
About the Author
An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.
All articles by Ben Coxworth
One can mount Solar panels on the basketball board to promote the concept of Solar Energy as millions see the game..
So do we put our iPhones in it and kick \'em around?
I don\'t know if this concept has been thought through fully... football relies so heavily visual acuity (for dribbling, ball control, tackling, passing, goal keeping, awareness of the position of other players, awareness ones position on the pitch, awareness of the position of the goal etc) i.e. far more than just the awareness of the location of the ball, that it is hard for me see how it could be readily transformed into a sport for the visually impaired (even recognizing that visual impaired are not necessarily completely blind) and still remain \"football\". Am I missing something here??
The ball would also be useless as solar energy storage device because the \"kicking it about\" part would be completely unnecessary for it\'s functioning.
Over 160,000 people receive our email newsletter
See the stories that matter in your inbox every morning