4

Solar-Powered Phone-Charging Station Coming to University of Miami Campus

^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

The future is looking brighter for solar energy at the University of Miami, with a solar-powered charging station and bench set to come to campus soon. The technology will allow two people at a time to sit and charge their smartphones and other small devices, during the day and night.

The university will be one of the first 100 users of the new technology, called a Soofa, a venture-backed startup out of MIT. And the company’s founders say Miami is the perfect place for it.

“We are excited about the prospect of getting into the market in a sunny and nice region where there’s basically no winter,” says Soofa CEO and cofounder Sandra Richter. “This will showcase the great potential of the bench.”

The Soofa was one of the innovations recently on display in Wynwood at a gathering of urban tech inventors:

Soofas work by collecting power through a 30-watt solar panel and transmitting it through USB ports. Behind the scenes, Soofas collect information about air quality, temperature, noise levels, and other data, which is shared on the product's website. Because the bench also has an interior battery, people can continue to charge devices at night, long after the sun sets.

Richter says UM expressed interest in obtaining a Soofa late last year, when the company was running a limited pilot program in Boston. The university will start with one bench — in a "prominent place" — though the student council has expressed interest in bringing more Soofas to campus down the line. The company is rolling out more than 100 Soofas across the nation.

“Urban dwellers tend to be young professionals or students always on the move and very connected to their peers and the internet,” Richter says. “When they’re out socializing or drinking coffee, they don’t want to go sit inside just to charge their phone.” 

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.