Reuters - Video

EDITION: U.S. | U.K. | IN

Technology

Eco-friendly bench keeps your tech fully charged

Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 01:55

Boston is installing solar powered ''smart'' benches in its public spaces. The design team behind the ''Soofa'' say it's the bench of the future, giving park goers a comfortable seating area that doubles as a mobile phone charger. Sharon Reich has more.

▲ Hide Transcript

View Transcript

STORY: Mark Woods is getting a little pick me up in the park - for his phone that is. He's just plugged into the Soofa - a bench that can charge any device with a USB cable. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MARK WOODS, CALIFORNIA RESIDENT, SAYING: "I think that having a space that is solar powered, which is great for green energy, is really the wave of the future in terms of cities providing services to people." Mark's not the only one recharging his battery. A dozen of the charging stations are in Boston parks this summer as part of a city-wide pilot program to designed gauge how people react to high tech seating areas. The creators of the bench Jutta Friedrichs, Sandra Richter and Nan Zhao of Changing Environments, say the Soofa is keeping people connected in more ways than one -- it's a new social space that eliminates some of the barriers created by the digital divide. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JUTTA FRIEDRICHS, CO-FOUNDER OF CHANGING ENVIRONMENTS CREATORS OF THE SOOFA, SAYING: "People share benches all the time, there's an opportunity for small talk, to meet each other especially when you plug in. it's almost like a new water cooler." Only this one can give you juice and plenty of it. The 30 watt solar panel stores enough energy to fully power about 20 cell phones. And besides charging devices, the bench is intended to become an infrastructure hub that also provides data to researchers and city planners as well. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NAN ZHAO, CO-FOUNDER OF CHANGING ENVIRONMENTS CREATORS OF THE SOOFA, SAYING: "Our benches are actually connected to the Internet using 4G LTE and they are uploading data about how many people are using and how much sun power we are collecting to our server. In the future we are thinking of also implementing other sensors depending on what the needs of the areas are." The team says the project has been so successful they're planning to roll Soofa out to other cities, giving people a place to take a load off while keeping their phones on.

Press CTRL+C (Windows), CMD+C (Mac), or long-press the URL below on your mobile device to copy the code

Eco-friendly bench keeps your tech fully charged

Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 01:55

Top News »

Retirement »

Back to work- in retirement Back to work- in retirement

Wed, Oct 15, 2014 - (2:09)

Investing 201 »

Bond investors brace for the end of Fed stimulus Bond investors brace for the end of Fed...

Fri, Oct 10, 2014 - (4:03)

Arian Foster = BlackBerry? Arian Foster = BlackBerry?

Fri, Oct 25, 2013 - (3:16)

Don’t miss these red flags for IPOs Don’t miss these red flags for IPOs

Thu, Oct 10, 2013 - (2:34)

Copycat currency trading Copycat currency trading

Wed, Oct 02, 2013 - (2:28)

When to dump a winner When to dump a winner

Tue, Sep 24, 2013 - (1:55)

Where gold might again attract Jim Rogers Where gold might again attract Jim Rogers

Thu, Sep 19, 2013 - (2:05)

Why savings interest rates won't budge Why savings interest rates won't budge

Fri, Sep 13, 2013 - (2:09)

Buy local? ETFs try the trend Buy local? ETFs try the trend

Thu, Sep 05, 2013 - (2:42)

Money Clip »

Will Apple Pay transform mobile payments? Will Apple Pay transform mobile payments?

Thu, Oct 16, 2014 - (2:45)

3 things to do before disaster strikes 3 things to do before disaster strikes

Wed, Sep 18, 2013 - (1:39)

Your must-do money list Your must-do money list

Wed, Sep 11, 2013 - (1:24)

The worst "best" financial advice The worst "best" financial advice

Wed, Sep 04, 2013 - (1:42)

Forget gold: The case for REITs Forget gold: The case for REITs

Fri, Apr 26, 2013 - (1:19)

3 rules for buying a house now 3 rules for buying a house now

Thu, Apr 18, 2013 - (1:39)

Reuters Investigates »

Re-homing victim: "I could have been dead" Re-homing victim: "I could have been dead"

Wed, Feb 19, 2014 - (8:24)

Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest

Fri, Jan 10, 2014 - (4:01)

"Passed around like a dog" "Passed around like a dog"

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 - (6:32)

Adopted, then abandoned online Adopted, then abandoned online

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 - (13:21)

How the DEA keeps its secrets secret How the DEA keeps its secrets secret

Mon, Aug 05, 2013 - (1:36)

How education lost its role as the great equalizer - Reuters Investigates How education lost its role as the great...

Mon, Dec 17, 2012 - (7:52)

Jihad Jane: From abused child to American jihadist - Reuters Investigates Jihad Jane: From abused child to American...

Sat, Dec 08, 2012 - (10:01)

Jihad Jane: The order to kill - Reuters Investigates Jihad Jane: The order to kill - Reuters...

Sun, Dec 09, 2012 - (10:39)

Moving Pictures »

Dance of the northern lights Dance of the northern lights

Mon, Oct 20, 2014 - (1:08)

Images of September Images of September

Wed, Oct 01, 2014 - (1:00)

Still missing – MH370 Still missing – MH370

Fri, Sep 05, 2014 - (2:05)

Burning Together Burning Together

Mon, Sep 01, 2014 - (2:23)

Mending dolls, teddies and hearts Mending dolls, teddies and hearts

Fri, Aug 22, 2014 - (3:12)

Images of August Images of August

Fri, Aug 29, 2014 - (1:00)

"Old timers" sail the Chesapeake Bay "Old timers" sail the Chesapeake Bay

Mon, Aug 11, 2014 - (2:27)

Burned memories Burned memories

Fri, Aug 08, 2014 - (3:02)

Images of July Images of July

Thu, Jul 31, 2014 - (1:20)

World Cup: passion on the pitch World Cup: passion on the pitch

Fri, Jul 11, 2014 - (1:00)