There are some types balls that benefit from being kicked, and some that don’t. The sOccket is an example of a ball that profits from all that knocking around.

Not your usual ball, the sOccket is a soccer ball that, after only fifteen minutes of play, can provide up to three hours of LED light. Simply put, the balls are fitted with a mechanism that allows kinetic energy to be turned into electricity.

This new invention is the brainchild of four Harvard graduates who came up with the idea while taking an engineering class together as undergraduates. All four women, Jessica O. Matthews `10, Jessica S. Lin `09, Hemali A. Thakkar `11, and Julia C. Silverman `10, had spent time in Africa and became connected through their common desire to make a difference, according to Popular Mechanics.

The magazine recently named the invention one of their Breakthrough 2010 winners, awarding it the “Next generation” distinction.

In most African countries 95 percent of the population lives without access to electricity, according to sOccket's website.

The hope is that these soccer balls, which are only five ounces heavier than regular balls, will help lower that percentage.

On Oct. 7, from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m., you’ll have a chance to see these balls in action. The Laboratory at Harvard is putting on an event in the Northwest Building that will feature the sOccket, along with other attractions, including the tasting of gaseous hors d’oeuvres.

The Lab at Harvard website advises that guests come “prepared to play soccer,” so find some balls to practice on, channel your inner Beckham, and perfect your kick.

Photo courtesy of sOccket.