SMART FURNITURE: 4 Points to adopt when engineering for smart citizens

Author: Bojana Borković, Business Development Executive at Strawberry energy

Smart and digital technologies have changed our lives so drastically in the last decade that practically, there is not an industry, field of work or creative process that doesn’t require some sort of digitalization and tech application. Architects and engineers are especially motivated to apply smart technologies, not only in order to optimize the results and improve the efficiency, but to keep up with tech trends and answer to the development of future cities and people’s lives, now completely immersed in tech.

In order to create a smart, digitized, but above all — human future cities, and deliver the real value for the communities, where the experience and quality of life of the smart tech users are a priority, we’ve assembled some guidelines that professionals from the industry might want to pay attention to and apply in their future projects.

The four key points smart furniture in public spaces should focus on are: tourism, community, disabled people and family.

Fulfilling these four points makes smart city furniture overall beneficial for the quality of life in the public spaces.

Smart Bench has already proven to be a popular and efficient project that impacts all four domains of smart furniture public realm. Apart from being a popular meeting point and complementing the city’s outdoors by appealing design, here are some important benefits that Smart Bench provides:

1. Tourism — a fast and free WiFi hotspot, essential for tourists when they want to access important information on their location, plan routes, check maps, send messages to friends and family and post to social media.

Having a smart bench in the public spaces also means never having to worry about your phone battery running out while you’re out having fun. Smart Bench offers charging cords plus wireless charging ports to suit all types of smartphones. By offering this kind of high level of connectivity, Smart Bench allows a more valuable outdoor experience for all tourists and members of the community.

2. Community — Benches in public spaces have always represented a beloved point of social interactions for young and old, but also a piece of oasis in an urban landscape. As our lives become more tech — dependent and digitized, Smart Bench needs to fulfill the social aspect and utility of the old fashion bench, but also to support the modern-day thirst for technology, smart design and sustainability. Our Smart Bench encompasses all of these properties, providing a great asset for any playground or communal area where people from the community, families can interact, take a break and enjoy the surroundings.

From the social participation point, Smart Bench represents a valuable means for the local governments to obtain information and data that may help the decision-making process when it comes to introducing bills and measures important for the quality of life of the community. The data obtained from the Smart Bench can give a better insight on foot traffic at that location, number of chargings speaks of the mobile usage and technological needs of the people frequenting that particular location etc.

3. Accessibility to disabled — It is important to emphasize the accessibility of Smart Bench to disabled persons. It is designed to be easily accessible to all people with disabilities and provide a safe and valuable experience for equal opportunities across the whole society. WiFi connection allows integration in the City IoT platform or integration in the city’s emergency control center. These possibilities are key to creating safer, more efficient smart cities and could enhance the quality of life immensely in the future, if applied throughout the urban zones.

4. Family: What every parent wants is a safe environment for their children to play, grow and learn. Smart Bench is a great asset to any playground and neighborhood. Smart Bench offers an opportunity for children to learn about renewable sources of energy, to practice responsible and sustainable behaviour and check the weather data, air quality together with their parents. Parents can charge their phones while watching the kids play, but also provide a valuable learning lesson. After they charge their phone and connect to the free WiFi network, they can talk to their youngsters about green energy and explain how our phones can be charged using nothing but solar energy. We would like to set the younger generations onto the path of preserving nature and sustainable energy resources because that is the right way to prepare them for the future where these topics will be substantial points of economic growth and overall well being of the city dwellers. Smart Bench has 0 carbon footprint and is solar-powered, allowing the members of the community to enjoy the connectivity and benefits of energy in a sustainable and responsible way.

As we head into the second decade of the 21st century, it becomes even more important that the technological progress and life improvements that come with it, stay complementary with the social and personal needs of every member of the community, families, elderly citizens and disabled. To provide a more modern but at the same time, efficient and equal opportunities benefits in the realm of smart IoT experience.