Soon, instead of exploring the wonders of nature in New York’s beautiful, leafy parks, you can go there to sit on a bench and charge your phone. Five solar-powered Soofa benches are coming to the Bronx and Manhattan’s Highbridge Parks this month, with the first one being installed today. And seriously, this is a much better idea than those Wi-Fi booths plopped inconveniently in the middle of the sidewalk.
There’s room for three people on each bench, which look like regular old benches crossed with an adorable solar-panel-topped box. (That’s supposed to be a face on it, right?) They’re BYOUSB, with two ports in the front of each box for your charger.
The benches can also count how many people visit the park by tracking your Wi-Fi usage, which totally isn’t creepy or anything. The NYC Parks department is hoping to use the data to craft optimal cleaning and event schedules for the parks.
Editor’s Note: We look forward to the bench chargers coming to a Harlem park bench near you.