Soofa : Solar-powered USB-equipped park benches

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With our increasingly connected world draining your batteries at every turn, keeping your mobile devices charged can be a struggle when you’re not at home or the office.

Soon, instead of exploring the wonders of nature in New York’s beautiful, leafy parks, you can go there to sit on a bench and charge your phone. Five solar-powered Soofa benches are coming to the Bronx and Manhattan’s Highbridge Parks this month, with the first one being installed today.


There’s room for three people on each bench, which look like regular old benches crossed with an adorable solar-panel-topped box. (That’s supposed to be a face on it, right?) They’re BYO USB, with two ports in the front of each box for your charger.


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The NYC Parks department has also installed a sensor in the benches that tracks how many Wi-Fi-enabled devices are nearby the benches. However, the sensor won’t track any personal information. The parks department says it will simply use the information to gather stats about how often areas of the parks are visited.

We can only hope park benches, bus stops, and other public spaces follow NYC’s lead and put USB charging ports wherever we pass our time. This is a step in the right direction.


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