Imagine that you go for a walk in the park or take your kid to play in the park and your phone dies on you. What a pain it can be, right? A phone is an essential gadget today and we just can’t do without it, no matter where we are. At the same time, you cannot charge your phone wherever you want or however you want. Well, that would be the story in any other city, not Boston. The city’s parks and other public spaces have now been equipped with solar-powered benches for charging phones and other gadgets! Interesting, isn’t it?
The city of Boston is installing solar-powered benches called “Soofas”, which enable you to charge your mobile phone, tablet or other gadgets using solar energy. The benches are also connected wirelessly to the Verizon Network and relay location-based information like the temperature, quality of air, time and so on to the individual accessing the benches. The benches will soon be installed across the city’s major parks including the Boston Common, Rose Kennedy Greenway and Sparrow Park.
Startup partners with MIT
The “Soofas”, which let you become one with man-made nature have been designed and developed by Changing Environments Inc., an innovative start-up under the leadership of Sandra Richter, the CEO and co-founder of the company. The company has partnered with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab and will shortly be rolling out more new solar powered benches across the city’s parks this summer.
Carry the cable
The “Soofas” certainly give you the required power to charge your cell phone or tablet, but you need to get your cable. The benches are equipped with USB outlets to which you connect your phone cables to charge the device and also obtain a range of data relevant to the location.
More than just seats, says Mayor Walsh
Benches are common across parks in the country. Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh says that there is no reason to use benches just for seating when you can use a cell phone for more than just making calls. According to Walsh, benches can be more than seats offering the necessary energy and information that people can use to charge their smartphones that enable them to do more than just make calls.
Walsh said that the creation of the “Soofas” is the starting step to developing smart urban furniture that offer more than just comfortable seating. He said that the government has endless possibilities and opportunities to update the city to meet the needs of the younger mobile generation. He also expressed his happiness about Sandra Richter’s leadership and hoped that many more such startups headed by women will continue to inspire people of the city and the country too.