The park: a place to jog, soak up the sun, and… charge your iPhone? From next week visitors at select parks in the Boston area will be able to charge their mobile devices at special solar-powered benches, dubbed “Soofas.”
“Soofa is the first step into smart urban furniture,” Changing Environments CEO and Soofa co-inventor Sandra Richter says in a statement. “The possibilities to update the city for the mobile generation are endless and long overdue.”
The scheme was first piloted back in 2013, and the seats have since been upgraded to include a larger sitting area, alongside the ability to plug in two phones at the same time, via USB. Going forward the plan is to include similar charging stations at Starbucks outlets throughout the U.S.
According to Yahoo Tech, each Soofa costs around $3,000 and comes complete with a 25-year guarantee from Changing Environments. Boston residents will be able to find free benches on an interactive map at Soofa.co. Clicking on a bench brings up information about the temperature, noise, air pollution level, and recent foot traffic around the location, in addition to information on whether or not a charging port is currently available.