Great news for those looking to load up their electronics while taking a load off! New York City will soon be installing solar-powered Soofa Benches at select locations in Manhattan and the Bronx to allow people to recharge their batteries for free. As reported by the NY Daily News, five solar-powered charging benches are set to be installed at Highbridge Park as part of a two-year pilot program..
The Soofa test benches will not only help people recharge their electronics while out and about, but will also help park officials keep track of visitation numbers by counting the amount of devices charged. Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver told the NY Daily News that the benches “will provide a look forward into the future of parks.”
“We know just how valuable the use of technology is and how important it is in our day-to-day experience — and these benches tap into that power by allowing us to measure park usership and engagement while protecting parkgoers’ privacy and providing a vital service,” he added.
The Soofa benches, which were developed in the MIT Media Lab, are already being used in other major cities like Boston and Los Angeles. The first bench is scheduled to be installed at Highbridge Park in the Bronx this week and the remaining four will be installed within 30 days.
Via NY Daily News
Images via Soofa and Laura Mordas-Schenkein for Inhabitat