What if benches in public parks were more than just a place to sit? That’s the thinking behind a new project in Boston, where solar-powered benches called “Soofas” will let you take a load off – and also give you a place to plug in and re-charge your smartphone. Designed by a Verizon Innovation Program at MIT, the Soofas are more than a traditional recharging station. The benches also connect to Verizon’s network to upload data about the space around them, including air quality and noise level, as well as how many people sit on each bench every day. And you can even check out the data the benches collect through Soofa’s website. The first of these benches are being installed throughout July in various Boston parks, including Titus Sparrow Park and the Boston Common. If you live in the Boston area, the city wants your help in planning out future Soofas. Boston’s city officials are asking residents to recommend additional parks to install the benches – as well as names for each bench.

Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is Managing Partner at Palmer Advanced Media, a technology-focused strategic advisory practice that helps Fortune 500 companies and growth-stage companies with digital strategy, data science, marketing, branding, and business development. He is Fox 5 New York's on-air tech and digital media expert and a regular commentator on CNBC and CNN. @shellypalmer or visit shellypalmer.com.

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"Shelly Palmer Radio Report – July 11, 2014" by @ShellyPalmer