Park benches charge phones and offer local area information

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Park benches are typically pedestrian affairs, but they can be redesigned to offer greater practicality. We've already seen ideas such as the Water Bench, which enables outdoor seating to double as a water reservoir in drought-affected areas. Now Boston-based Soofa is turning urban furniture into solar-powered information centers and charge points for cities' public spaces. As well as offering a place to sit down in parks and city streets, Soofas are equipped with a box featuring solar panels and USB sockets for charging smartphones. This enables residents to keep their phone battery topped up when they're out of the house…

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