Boston is rolling out new smart benches to parks around the city, which will use solar power to allow anyone to charge their phone on the go and record data about their surroundings at the same time. Why can't we have those? We could even try using mini wind turbines to compensate for the lack of sun.
The benches, developed by MIT Media Lab spin-out Soofa, are able to charge devices plugged into them via USB thanks to integrated solar panels. On-board sensors also allow the bench to record location-based environmental information, such as air quality and noise-level data, which is then uploaded to the cloud for future analysis.