With our increasingly connected world draining your batteries at every turn, keeping your mobile devices charged can be a struggle when you’re not at home or the office. Do you really want to ask the bartender if you can plug in for a moment? “I’d like a beer and thirty minutes of your finest outlet my good sir.” It’s struggle New York City residents will soon find a little easier, thanks to new solar-powered charging benches coming to the Highbridge Parks in the Bronx and Manhattan.According to Time Out, each bench will have room for three people, and feature two USB ports on the front of each charging box. The first bench is being installed this week, with four more benches coming in the next few months. The NYC Parks department has also installed a sensor in the benches that tracks how many Wi-Fi-enabled devices are nearby the benches, however the sensor won’t track any personal information. The parks department says it will simply use the information to gather stats about how often areas of the parks are visited.
We can only hope park benches, bus stops, and other public spaces follow NYC’s lead and put USB charging ports wherever we pass our time. This is a step in the right direction.