While not necessarily the most efficient use of solar power, I sure wouldn't mind having a few of these in my town.
Some crazy designers with some extra time on their hands have put together a design for a solar-powered wifi and lighting system that would be built into a park bench.
A simple thin-film solar panel would sit under a glass pane...and then you or I would sit on the glass pane. The system would also include a 3G linked wifi node so people sitting on or around the bench could get free internet access.
The price, of course, would be a bit steep, but what worries me more is that the system would suffer greatly if it were actually popular. I mean, in some cities, free WiFi would pretty much guarantee that several people would be sitting on the bench 24 hours a day (especially during sunny times.) And if your butt is blocking the sunlight...what's powering your wifi??
written by Fred, July 01, 2009
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