London business district to hose on-site solar benches

East London's Canary Wharf complex is getting four new smart benches. These will transform the sun's energy into phone charge, provide users with information on the local area, and offer an emergency call button with which you can request assistance, all at the same time.
Canary Wharf
Citymetric reported this week on the technology, known as the "Strawberry bench". The solar-powered smart bench collects energy via a solar panel on its roof, and uses it to power a range of functions: monitoring air quality, disseminating information about the local area, offering free power-ups for the phones of passers-by.

This summer, four of these benches will be installed around Canary Wharf, the privately-owned office and retail estate at the heart of London's Docklands. The design was the winner of the "Cognicity Challenge", a competition intended to find innovative proposals to turn street furniture into smart technologies and, as a side effect, make everyone feel all warm and fuzzy towards the Canary Wharf Group.

The company behind them is Belgrade-based Strawberry Energy, whose previous products include the "Strawberry Tree", a solar-powered mobile phone charge and wifi hub with a bench attached to it. Both products were the work of Strawberry Energy's founder, the architect Miloš Milisavljević.


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