What’s in a bench? Some wood, metal support frames, screws etc. But that is the bench of yesterday. Tomorrow’s smart benches are available now and can play an integral role in the overall structure, design, data gathering, etc. of a Smart City.
Take EnGoPlanet‘s solar smart bench. The device provides seating, overhead shelter, LED lighting, USB charge ports, WiFi hotspots and digital information boards. Now people waiting on the lite rail or bus can recharge devices, connect to their favorite sites and gather real time important data about pertinent things in their city. Bus running late due to an accident or breakdown? No problem in providing this data to the end user passengers with smart boards available at the very bench they are sitting on. While these solutions are a little expensive for the time being, the cost will continue to come down as more cities adopt the solutions and start ordering large volumes of them. The digital information boards can also serve as advertising platforms which will increase traffic at local venue and help offset the cost.
Another item to consider are the sensors that are inherit with all things IoT. Smart benches can and will serve as a backbone of information for every Smart City in the world. They can be equipped with cameras to help monitor and serve as a deterrent for crime in various areas. Air sensors can be placed to measure temperature, humidity, air quality etc. So now the parking and traffic solutions have a backbone of sensors feeding real time data. This allows city planners the ability to see the effects of other projects and work to improve them overtime. What’s more, these benches are not limited to lite rail and bus stations. They can be used to provide a meshed network of data at City Squares, Amusement Parks, Universities, Business Parks, Shopping Malls and more.