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Solar-Powered Smart Bench Charges Phones, Connects to WiFi
7/31/2014

Soofa is a smart bench developed by Changing Environments, a startup spun off from the MIT Media Lab. The bench is solar-powered and provides mobile device charging as well as collects environmental information via wireless sensors and posts that information on the Soofa website. Soofas are currently being used in Boston and Cambridge.   (Source: Changing Environments)
Soofa is a smart bench developed by Changing Environments, a startup spun off from the MIT Media Lab. The bench is solar-powered and provides mobile device charging as well as collects environmental information via wireless sensors and posts that information on the Soofa website. Soofas are currently being used in Boston and Cambridge.
(Source: Changing Environments)

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Elizabeth M
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Re: SOLAR-POWERED SMART BENCHES
Elizabeth M   8/7/2014 7:54:32 AM
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Thanks, bobjengr. The benches are being designed and developed and tested at the moment. I think the company also has an early adopter program but the benches aren't available broadly yet on the commercial market. I think so, but you'd best contact them to find out for sure. Sorry, I seem to have missed that in the story. I'm also not sure of the cost. The website is www.soofa.co

Cabe Atwell
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Re: SOLAR-POWERED SMART BENCHES
Cabe Atwell   8/6/2014 6:22:44 PM
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Neat. Only works in the day.

Great idea to keep the homeless population charged and such. That is, if they have any gear.

C

bobjengr
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SOLAR-POWERED SMART BENCHES
bobjengr   8/6/2014 5:06:41 PM
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This is truly a fantastic idea.  Really smart.  I have so many aps running I need to charge two or three times per day.  This "smart bench" represents out-of-the-box thinking and emphasizes we can use the resources available to us to for our benefit. I would love to know how much a solar module costs and who would furnish the devices; i.e. city, park commission, etc etc. I may have missed it but I don't think the video indicated.  Are the devices commercialized as yet or still being tested?   Great post Elizabeth. 

Elizabeth M
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Re: Clever idea
Elizabeth M   8/5/2014 6:08:08 AM
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I think this aspect of the mobile device--the personal assistant--is actually a good one, Pubudu. I definitely use my phone for this purpose. But you're right in that it does make us more dependent on them than we might like to be.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Clever idea
Elizabeth M   8/5/2014 5:45:34 AM
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Yes, well there was a law enacted I think in France that made it illegal for people to check their work email after a certain time, Pubudu. So all hope is not lost for having a more sane work life even in the era of being always connected.

NadineJ
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Re: Not for Asia.............................
NadineJ   8/4/2014 5:19:23 PM
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@Pubudu - that's an easy fix.  Turn the bench into a shelter.  Or even better, have this bench in front of a food vendor. 

I'll charge my phone while eating cong you bing any morning!

Pubudu
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Re: Clever idea
Pubudu   8/4/2014 1:08:28 PM
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Yes it is impossible Elizabeth, legally we are working 8hr per day, but virtually we are working 24hr per day cause of the mobile phones.  

Pubudu
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Re: Not for Asia.............................
Pubudu   8/4/2014 1:03:05 PM
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True shehan You are right, heavy sun rice is the first thing that comes to mind, it's a matter of design it...................

Pubudu
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Re: Clever idea
Pubudu   8/4/2014 1:00:33 PM
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Very true Shehan, that is because the main purpose of having a mobile phone has been changed, it's not a connecting device any more, now it's something like having a digital personal assistance. 

Elizabeth M
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Re: Clever idea
Elizabeth M   8/4/2014 8:16:09 AM
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Solar panels are clearly not just for rooftops or large installations anymore, that's for sure, shehan. They're being found to help power lots of new inventions.

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