Take a seat on Joburg’s smart bench
The first prototype of Johannesburg’s solarpowered Wi-Fi hot spot furniture was unveiled in Maboneng, Joburg, last week.
The bench/charging station/free internet access point is the first of the intended rollout by Public Access Consulting, a winner of the Green City Startup initiative.
The bench is called the Isabelo, which means “to share” in isiZulu, and with good reason. “The smart bench is all about sharing: sharing a seat, sharing public spaces and sharing content. What we love about it is that people can sit down, charge up, and freely access information and share ideas online,” says Louise Meek, the founding director of Public Access Consulting.
Meek’s bench will do more than just bring free Facebook to the inner city: “The beauty of this bench is that it is in a public space. We aim to reduce the digital divide in South African cities, one bench at a time,” says Meek. – Garreth van Niekerk
smart bench in Maboneng