Soofa benches offer more than just a place to sit
When I think about sitting on a bench, it always reminds me of Forrest Gump telling his heartfelt life story to a revolving cast of characters that came and went. I guess that is just one example of how hanging out on a park bench has always been a social experience, one that connects us with each other and our community. Now, in Newmarket that social experience is being extended beyond just sitting and chatting. With the addition of the ‘world’s most social benches’ to the downtown visitor’s to Newmarket’s downtown can share their experiences with the world –without fear of running out of battery life. Here’s how they work:
Soofa solar-powered benches can be found in many major cities in the US, but Newmarket is the first in Canada to join this network. The Soofa benches and charging stations throughout the downtown use solar energy to allow visitors to plug in and charge their devices so that you never have to miss taking a great photo or reviewing an awesome restaurant because “my battery died.” The benches also take in data through sensors that passively listen for WIFI enabled devices. This provides the Town the ability to monitor the number of people and the activity patterns in the downtown. Don’t worry, there is no personal information gathered. There are so many potential benefits to using data-driven technology to improve our public spaces and quality of life. For example, knowing the traffic patterns in the area could potentially enhance economic development opportunities by attracting more businesses downtown. It could also help to shape the way events are scheduled in and around Main Street.
If you are in town and want to check out the Soofa benches – here are a few ideas for your first Soofa experience:
- Steal a first kiss (as long as it’s someone you know… and someone that seems to be equally interested)
- Get social - downtown Newmarket has some great Insta worthy spots for selfies or snaps with friends
- Call a friend you haven’t talked to in a long time (while charging your phone – two birds, one stone)
- Read a great book (check out the library’s digital database: Hoopla – it’s like Netflix for libraries)
- Meet up with your tinder date?
- Strike up a conversation with a stranger
- Listen to your favourite tune –without worrying about a drained battery
- People watch (just don’t be creepy)
- Have a snack – grab a tasty treat from one of the amazing restaurants/cafes on Main Street and enjoy the buzz of the downtown
Just enjoy the fact that you are charging your phone, thanks to the sun, in public! Remember to #byoc (bring your own cord)
For more Soofa info check out fellow blog: https://www.mtlblog.com/news/canada-is-getting-solar-power-benches-that-charge-your-phone