DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania (AP) — President Barack Obama had to kick the SOCCKET.
It looked like a soccer ball but has a hole for a charging cable. Obama took one and tossed it several feet in the air before upping the risk factor by letting the ball drop toward is feet. He kicked it back up into the air and topped even that by bouncing the ball off of his head, all while wearing a buttoned-up suit jacket and tie.
Obama’s playfulness was part of a demonstration designed to show off an invention by two Harvard graduates that’s seen as a way to help bring electricity to rural areas that don’t have any. During the trip, Obama announced a U.S.-led effort to help bring electric power to large swaths of sub-Saharan Africa.
The SOCCKET ball has a pendulum-like mechanism inside that creates kinetic energy during play and stores it. Its maker says 30 minutes of play can power a simple LED lamp for three hours. The plan is to distribute the ball to kids across Africa, where soccer is a popular sport. During the demonstration, Obama helped attach opposite ends of a cable to the ball and a cellphone.
“I thought it was pretty cool,” said Obama, who played soccer growing up in Indonesia. “You can imagine this in villages all across the country.”
(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)