Remember when we just played catch?
Those were good, simpler times. Of course, we put aside our footballs and super bouncy balls for virtual ones on our smart phones and, in the process, life got a little less active and, maybe, a little less interesting.
Perhaps the best ways to reintroduce inflatable balls to playtime is to make them as smart as the balls on your iPhone screen. Better yet, put some of the same technology you find in your iPhone inside an inflatable ball.
That's the basic concept behind the Play Impossible Gameball. Sure, it's an odd and long name for such a simple-looking toy, but, to be fair, some of what this ball can do does seem a little impossible.
The 5.25-inch green, latex foam-covered rubber ball is a little undersized for the soccer field, but it wouldn't look out of place on any playground. It comes filled with air and has a valve hole for pumping up the ball if it goes flat. Gameball feels light, flexible and has a good bounce.
This, however, is not your average ball.
For starters, Gameball costs $99. That's an impossible price for an inflatable ball you toss around, but then this isn't just a ball. Your first clue are the two copper contacts inside a red triangle on the ball's surface. They're there so you can charge the ball.
This is how you charge Gameball. I know, it's weird.
Image: lance ulanoff/mashable
That's right, this ball is battery powered and charges in an unusual and, honestly, awkward way.
The Play Impossible Gameball ships with a fat charging wand that fits two AA batteries. It has two copper contacts on the business end that align with those copper contacts on the ball.
When you first open the free app, it connects via Bluetooth to the Gameball and then instructs you to charge the ball, which can get a full charge in 20 seconds. Seriously, that's all it takes. I held the charging wand against the ball and watched as the app's charge meter on the iPhone app rose to full.
After you name your Gameball in the app — with just t