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Boston to install ‘smart’ benches with solar charging stations

Why doesn’t every city do this?


Patrick Howell O'Neill


Boston is setting a shining example for cities around the country by bringing their public parks into the 21st century world of alternative energy.

City officials are preparing to install solar-powered smart benches, called “soofas,” to provide free charging points for devices like smartphones or tablets, reports Engadget.

In addition, Verizon-connected sensors will measure air quality and noise level, as part of a greater effort to improve parks. The benches, which are funded by Cisco Systems, cost nothing for the city.

“Your cellphone doesn’t just make phone calls, why should our benches just be seats?” Mayor Martin J. Walsh said in a statement Friday.

Public spaces are awash in opportunities to make smart use of alternative energy and a wide variety of other technologies. The so-called smart bench is just one of the first of what will undoubtedly be many coming changes to shared spaces.

The first smart benches will be installed in the next week.

H/T Engadget | Photo via City of Boston

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