Boston Introduces Solar-Powered 'Smart Benches' That Can Charge Phones

Changing Environments, a spin off company from MIT Media Labs is changing the environment by transforming the landscape of Boston, Massachusetts. Smart benches, called "Soofas" will now help Bostonians charge their phones. This idea, both bizarre and extremely savvy was first presented at a meeting of innovators and entrepreneurs at the White House. Changing Environments is a startup by three women: Jutta Friedrichs, Sandra Richter and Nan Zhao. Their Soofa project is sponsored by the Verizon Innovation Program.

Changing Environment Founders: Richter, Friedrichs and Zang
The solar powered smart benches will not only charge phones but will also provide location-based environmental information, such as air quality and noise-level data. The first units will be installed for free by Cisco Systems as a part of its smart city solutions program. Data collected by the benches will be published on Soofa's website: #-Link-Snipped-#.
Sandra Richter, co-founder and CEO of Soofa, and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh
The next week will see these benches providing services at a number of city parks, including Titus Sparrow Park in the South End, the Boston Common, and the Rose Kennedy Greenway. Boston Mayor Martin Walsh said it right and we couldn't agree more: "Your cellphone doesn’t just make phone calls, why should our benches just be seats?"

Source: #-Link-Snipped-# via Boston trying out solar-powered ‘smart benches’ in parks - The Boston Globe


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