Sep 212012

Now a quick game of footie can mean more than just a little exercise–it can mean you’re also building a school.

When the Soccket, a soccer ball that produces and stores energy during game play, was announced in 2009, it was a sensation among do-gooder types. The basic idea: take something that people do all the time in many African countries (playing soccer) and make it useful–in this case, by letting people power up a small LED light with gameplay, reducing the need for fume-generating kerosene lamps. Now Uncharted Play, the company behind the Soccket, is bringing a feel-good soccer ball to the developed world, but with a twist.

The Ludo (the name comes from the Latin words for “to play” and “to give”) is a soccer ball powered by a chip that tracks play time, which is wirelessly uploaded to Uncharted Play’s online gaming platform, the Play Fund. Jessica Matthews, the co-founder and CEO of Uncharted Play, describes the Play Fund as “a socially oriented Kickstarter that’s gamified.”

The ball uses the same ultra-durable shell from the Soccket–a dense, Croc-like material–and it can’t be deflated. This isn’t a wimpy piece of technology.

Here’s how it works: You kick around the soccer ball for awhile, log onto the Play Fund, and select a project that you think deserves your “play points.” Sample projects may include books for a school, desks, food, or even vaccines. “Before you know it, you donated X amount of hours and you literally built a school,” says Matthews, who was a college student when the Soccket was released.

Read more . . .

via FastCoExist – Ariel Schwartz

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