We've seen our fair share of solar charging stations pop up throughout NYC, but they aren't nearly as prevalent as we'd like them to be. Luckily, there's a new contraption in town that we hope becomes a part of the fabric of our city. Part bench, part USB charger, the Soofa is a sleek new innovation that soaks up sun in the daylight hours and holds a charge through the night, providing a welcome place to rest one's bum while charging phones, tablets and computers for free.
We spotted the Soofa at this year’s IDEAS CITY Festival on the Bowery, where we happily took a break to take a load off while charging up. It’s clear that Soofa is revolutionizing the city bench with its 30W tempered glass solar panel and 12V, 8Ah battery, which is roughly the same power of a traditional indoor outlet. Two weatherproof USB units allow two individuals to charge at once, while seated atop its FSC certified hard wood slatted bench. The makers behind Soofa designed the useful structure simply and efficiently for any individual, municipality or organization to install from a provided CAD model. People can also “adopt” Soofas to memorialize a loved one, or as a gift for any special occasion, and they’ve also instituted a corporate sponsorship program for companies to help improve local communities.
Soofa is made in the USA and the woman-owned business is currently in talks with the City of New York, with hopes of bringing it to other cities across the country as well. We hope to see some Soofas around NYC soon!
Images via Soofa and Laura Mordas-Schenkein for Inhabitat.