The first of many new generation smart benches have just been installed in London, and they will offer free wifi, charging ports, and more.
The solar-powered smart benches, designed by Strawberry Energy, will each have four charging cables, two USB ports and two wireless charging pads, as well as free WiFi and built-in air quality sensors, so you can monitor the surrounding environment.
Their built-in, highly-advanced air quality sensors, which pick up CO, NO2, O3, SO2, N2S, respiratory irritants, humidity and air pressure. Generally, the idea is that they’ll give us a much better understanding of air quality on a micro level. It will also feed important data back to local councils; which will ultimately help them to improve air quality in the capital.
These new benches have been designed to take up less room on the pavement than their predecessors, and the benches are being installed for free to a range of inner London Councils through sponsored partnerships, much like the Santander cycle hire scheme.
Miloš Milisavljević, founder and CEO of Strawberry Energy, says:
“There are so many obsolete items in urban spaces that we believe could be reinvented to add real value. We’re already working on designs for smart pay phones and smart bus shelters, as well as constantly looking for ways to improve our flagship benches.”
Strawberry Energy’s smart benches are already taking off around the capital: Southwark plans to install 29 in total; Islington is trialling a couple, with 25 planned; and Lewisham has already installed 10 of 25. You’ll also find them in 30 cities worldwide.