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Solar Powered Boston Benches to Let Passersby Charge Phones

Mayor Walsh chats about new technology while sitting on a Soofa, a solar powered bench that lets passerby charge their phones.
Mayor Walsh chats about new technology while sitting on a Soofa, a solar powered bench that lets passerby charge their phones. City of Boston

You probably know the sickening feeling when you glance down at your cell phone and see that it has died. Soon, you might find some help at Boston parks in the form of a “Soofa,” a new bench designed to let passersby charge their phones.

“Your cell phone doesn’t just make phone calls, why should our benches just be seats?” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh in a statement.

Soofas are going to be placed throughout several Boston parks—including Titus Sparrow in the South End, Boston Common, and the Rose Kennedy Greenway—over the next week.

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The gadgets, which run on solar power, can accommodate only two charging phones at a time. They also collect data on air quality and noise levels.

The project was the result of a partnership between the City of Boston and a branch of the MIT Media Lab called Changing Environments.

“We are fortunate to have talented entrepreneurs and makers in Boston thinking creatively about sustainability and the next generation of amenities for our residents,” Walsh said.

The City of Boston has requested that residents recommend one more park to house a Soofa. Bostonians can offer suggested online at this link or tweet the location to @newurbanmechs by July 11.

Changing Environments also hopes to find names for each of its Soofas. It too is soliciting recommendations from Bostonians. Tweet @mysoofa or visit the website by July 11.

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