Innovation That Matters

Interactive furniture

Connected sign and bench provide local news


Boston is furthering its credentials as an eco and visitor friendly city with the Soofa sign and bench. Both are solar powered, and provide e-ink information.

Visionect partnered with Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Soofa to provide Boston with the latest sustainable, connected service for its citizens. The Soofa bench and sign both use Visionect’s e-ink and paper technology to provide live, local news. Both devices are solar-powered, and the bench provides two charging docks, with enough space for three people to sit. Both screens use 3G to receive information updates, are completely self-powered and quick and easy to install.

City officials now have a near-to-real time method for communicating with the public about a range of topics and events. Earlier in the year, the city installed its first solar powered, e-ink sign outside City Hall. This latest urban smart sign is located outside of Faneuil Hall in Samuel Adams Park. Soofa is a spin-off from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Media Lab. The smart, solar powered device is also available as a stand-alone unit. Information is sent to the units through the Soofa dashboard, which provides analysis, hardware and software updates as needed.

Other spaces getting a sustainable news update include the backs of large trucks in Germany, and smart meeting room signs that sync with office calendars. Where else could e-ink and paper combine with real-time information updates for more efficient and sustainable processes?




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