The city of Boston just announced plans to roll out a series of solar-powered ‘Soofa’ benches that will enable citizens to charge their phones while they rest! The ‘Soofas’ were developed by Charging Environments, a spin-off of the MIT Media Lab, and they will be placed in green spaces such as Titus Sparrow Park, Boston Common, and the Rose Kennedy Greenway.The benches can charge two phones at a time while collecting and sharing location-based information like air quality and noise level data.
The Soofa is described as a solar-powered outdoor charging station, which made its debut during last week’s White House Maker Faire. It was the result of a Verizon Innovation Program, which will see Bostonians use Verizon’s 4G LTE network to wirelessly connect their devices to the internet via the benches.
While most locations for the Soofas have already been chosen, the City of Boston is asking locals to recommend an additional park for installation. Residents can go online to recommend their favorite spot or tweet the location to @newurbanmechs by July 11, 2014.
“The possibilities to update the city for the mobile generation are endless and long overdue,” Changing Environments CEO Sandra Richter said in a statement. Boston Mayor Martin Walsh added, “Your cell phone doesn’t just make phone calls, why should our benches just be seats?