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In Italy, solar-powered phone booth offers wifi and electric-vehicle charging

Telecoms & Mobile

The city of Turin has launched what it calls the “Smart Booth,” a solar-powered unit offering touch-screen calls, wifi, pollution monitoring and electric-vehicle recharging.

We’ve already seen the humble phone booth repurposed for charging electric vehicles, but a new effort in Italy is taking that concept even further. Specifically, in early April the city of Turin launched what it calls the “Smart Booth,” a solar-powered unit offering touch-screen calls, wifi, pollution monitoring and electric-vehicle recharging. Currently in a trial phase throughout 2012, the Smart Booth is part of Turin’s Smart City project focusing on sustainability. Resulting from a partnership with Telecom Italia, startup UbiConnected and Turin Politecnico university, the prototype currently installed outside the university on Corso Duca degli Abruzzi can not only be used to make phone calls via touch screen, but also offers a wide array of services including tourism and shopping information, social networking, and online services for students of the university. Powered in part by a built-in photovoltaic panel, the booth is also equipped with atmospheric pollution monitoring equipment, a video monitoring system that can be linked to the local police, and six recharging panels for electric bicycles and scooters. Multiple displays, meanwhile, can serve as a viewing platform for advertising, public sector messages, tourist information and news. The Smart Booth will be extended to other Italian cities in the coming weeks, Telecom Italia says. Municipalities and telecom entrepreneurs around the globe — one for inspiration? Spotted by: R Steinberg

Website: www.telecomitalia.com/tit/en.html

Contact: www.telecomitalia.com/tit/en/about-us/ti-group-contacts.html

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