Solar-Powered Smart Bench Charges Phones, Connects to WiFi
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)
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
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.
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.
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.
Researchers have been working on a number of alternative chemistries to lithium-ion for next-gen batteries, silicon-air among them. However, while the technology has been viewed as promising and cost-effective, to date researchers haven’t managed to develop a battery of this chemistry with a viable running time -- until now.
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