|The Soofa Smart Park Bench|
Matt Hamblen, Senior Editor at Computerworld, has written an interesting article on Hi Tech in New York City. Among the items he writes about he highlights the new Soofa Smart Park Benches that have been installed in Highbridge Park in Washington Heights. This is a follow up post to the one we had last year when it was first announced that the City was participating in the experiment.
One of the more charming uses of smart tech in New York is being tested with several park benches installed in Highbridge Park at 175th St. and Amsterdam Ave. in Washington Heights. The solar-powered benches, designed by Soofa, a startup with connections to the Mit Media Lab, allow park visitors to charge a smartphone or other device while resting, socializing or sunbathing.
The smart benches also allow park officials to count Wi-Fi-enabled devices as they pass by the bench, which allows them to estimate foot traffic and in turn determine if more security or trash removal might be needed in an area of a park.
Assuaging citizen concerns, the Soofa pilot incorporates a set of "internet of things guidelines" created by the city which govern privacy and security concerns for the new devices.