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Boston testing Soofa phone-charging solar-powered 'smart benches'

The solar-powered Soofa bench, which charges smartphones as visitors sit, kick back, and relax for a few minutes will roll out in select Boston locations
By: Michael Hatamoto | Science, Space & Robotics News | Posted: Jul 2, 2014 10:17 pm

Solar-powered "smart benches" able to recharge your smartphones are being rolled out in Boston by Changing Environments. The benches, called Soofas, include a built-in solar panel and two USB ports, and includes Wi-Fi. The chair was introduced during the White House Maker Faire last week, and could quickly find homes throughout major metropolitan areas.




Each bench, which can charge two phones at a time, cost $3,000 and is being described as the first step into "Smart Urban Furniture."


"Your cellphone doesn't just make phone calls, why should our benches just be seats?" said Boston Mayor Martin Walsh. "We are fortunate to have talented entrepreneurs and makers in Boston thinking creatively about sustainability and the next generation of amenities for our residents."


The first wave of Soofas will be located in Titus Sparrow Park, the Boston Common, Rose Kennedy Greenway, Babson College, and MIT. Boston residents are welcome to contribute ideas for the future location of one other Soofa.


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