President plugs electricity generating soccer ball in Tanzania

Don’t forget to thank President Obama for his contribution as well. His brief playtime today with a Soccket ball — a soccer ball that converts kinetic energy into electricity — didn’t generate much power, but it did serve to underscore the president’s plan to invest $7 billion in energy access programs across Africa. It also produced a couple of photos of the president with a ball on his head, as well as several tweets lauding the idea.

https://twitter.com/MagicalEarth/status/352146421526437888

President Obama declared the Soccket ball “pretty cool,” adding, “You can imagine this in villages all across the country.” Here’s a shot from Uncharted Play showing the LED lamp in action.

As cool as the idea is, someone had to be a spoil sport. Before spending the whole $7 billion on soccer balls, hopefully President Obama will look into the dissenting view. As a piece in Foreign Policy notes, while the Soccket costs $99, “you can get a solar-powered lamp for $10. It isn’t clear why anyone would pay 10 times that for a light whose power source you have to kick around for half an hour to get less illumination.”

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