Soofa, a spinoff of MIT, has joined forces with Visionect to activate public spaces in Boston with the most advanced in urban street furniture: the solar-powered Soofa Sign.
A companion to the Visionect-powered wayfinding sign unveiled in Boston’s City Hall Plaza, the Soofa Sign is the newest product in Soofa’s smart urban furniture ecosystem.
A plug and play solution, the Soofa Sign can be placed anywhere under the sun, reaching all residents through technology implementable even in the most demanding of locations. All it takes to install this smart urban display are four bolts fixing the sign in place – no access to the power grid or complex machinery necessary!
Easily accessible civic information
With more than 54 percent of the world’s population now living in urban centers, the goal of Soofa and Visionect is to improve the quality of life for people by providing easily accessible civic information at the right time and in the right place.
Intuitive to use, the Sign runs on solar-powered electronic paper and provides real-time information on local events and City services at Boston’s pedestrian epicenter, Samuel Adams Park, located outside of Faneuil Hall.
“The addition of this sign in one of the most historical places in our city is just one more step towards making Boston more welcoming for all who visit,” said Boston Mayor Marty Walsh on unveiling the Soofa Sign in Samuel Adams Park, Boston’s pedestrian epicenter.
Currently showing Mayor Walsh’s Twitter feed and upcoming events in Boston, the Soofa Sign displays will show a mix of municipal information, transit updates, advertising for businesses operating within a general proximity of the installed sign and citizens’ input. By engaging citizens, the signs will also help city leaders make more informed decisions.
This makes the Soofa Sign a vitally important component of the new model for the Smart City, where the focus is using technology to improve the quality of life for every single citizen.
Pushing the boundaries on public infrastructure
Designed to be loved by the public and easy to install for cities and developers, the Soofa Sign is made up of a color 32-inch E Ink electronic paper display and is powered by Visionect’s advanced signage technology, which allows the e-paper screen to use up as little energy as possible and seamlessly update the sign with real-time content.
The result is an extremely durable, low power outdoor sign that pushes the boundaries on public infrastructure. The Sign is self-powered by a solar cell, has great visibility in adverse light conditions and connects via 3G to receive real-time content updates, all without any light pollution whatsoever.
“Innovation is fast to market when you have the right partners in place who work side by side.” explains Sandra Richter, CEO of Soofa. “With E Ink and Visionect we can develop a robust and sustainable solution with limitless possibilities on applications on the Soofa Sign. This opens new business model and partnership opportunities. It is a proud moment to work with electronic paper, a technology developed at the MIT Media Lab and spun off to E Ink Inc. in 1997.”
Following the launch in Boston, the Soofa Sign will soon be in Cambridge, MA and select cities across the United States.