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.

Published Wed, Jul 2 2014 5:17 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 12:15 PM CST

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.

Boston testing Soofa phone-charging solar-powered 'smart benches' | TweakTown.com

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.

An experienced tech journalist and marketing specialist, Michael joins TweakTown looking to cover everything from consumer electronics to enterprise cloud technology. A former Staff Writer at DailyTech, Michael is now the West Coast News Editor and will contribute news stories on a daily basis. In addition to contributing here, Michael also runs his own tech blog, AlamedaTech.com, while he looks to remain busy in the tech world.

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