Friday, June 12, 2015

Taking a Break on the BETA Bench

"Starting this week, Soofa “smart” benches will be installed across the country" by Janelle Nanos, 06/04/2015

The next time you visit Toscanini’s ice cream shop in Central Square, you can get a cup or cone, and also charge your phone. This morning, the sweet shop was the first location in Cambridge to have a Soofa solar-powered bench installed outside its storefront. It’s one of 11 that will be placed throughout the city in the coming week.

The Soofa benches were designed by MIT graduates Sandra Richter and Nan Zhao, and Jutta Friedrichs, who graduated from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. The trio are now co-founders of the MIT Media Lab spinoff Changing Environments. After receiving calls from around the world and exhibiting their bench at the White House, the Soofa team decided to launch an early adopter program for cities and municipalities interested in their smart seating....

You know what I think would be smart? One with a toilet built right into it. You could sit down, drop, and be on your way with fully charged phone.

And the benches themselves will continue to evolve.

Maybe I should patent the idea, but the hell with it, it's yours if you think, you know.... you can call it the Soofa $hitter.

Over time, she anticipates adding more sensor technology to the seats that so that they will begin to track things like the temperature of the location or count the number of people who walk by.

“We’re making smart cities a little more of a reality,” Richter said.... 

Stay out of the city!


Time to get moving again.