Soofa So GoodThursday 3rd July 2014
A lot of forward thinking designers and developers have been producing various public device charging points, powered by renewable energy, around the globe. From solar powered “trees” with USB ports, or bus shelters providing a similar service - long established public areas and equipment crashing into smart and green technology. Now we can add to the long list the Soofa!
Soofa is a solar-powered bench that also provides free outdoor charging, along with location-based information like air quality and noise levels by uploading environmental sensor data to soofa.co. The creators behind this smart urban furniture, are three women who share one vision: Getting you out of the house and into a new, smarter and more sustainable city.
The smart urban furniture is being developed by Changing Environments, a MIT Media Lab spin-off. Being based in Boston, that is where the Soofa can be found, initially anyway, with several parks in the city soon to host the benches.
The benches are equipped with a unit which houses a solar panel and the necessary USB ports, two at least. There is an integrated battery that stores energy, allowing your smart device to be charged within at the same rate as at home.
The unit also contains the sensors that monitor the local environment, as mentioned above, plus a mobile internet connection to send the data to the Soofa website, which will display the number of hours of solar charging, the number of people who have used the service, the local air quality and finally the local noise pollution level.
So sit in a Boston park, charge, surf, text, call and then visit sofa.co and see the amount of pollution you have been subject too while you have been sat there!
Thursday 3rd July 2014