Smart Cities to Become More Connected, Personalized: MIT-startup Soofa creates digital content board, the Soofa Sign
What makes a smart city ‘smart’? According to a ResearchGate paper, a smart city is defined as, but not limited to being, “instrumented, interconnected and intelligent.” Based on this definition, Cambridge-based Soofa accomplished just that with its Soofa Sign, which is the first digital bulletin board of the 21st century.
“In any big city, there’s so many things to do. It’s almost an analysis to figure out where to go next, what to do, where are my friends,” Soofa CEO and Co-founder Sandra Richter said. “What this means is, suddenly for the first time, you can share information with your local neighborhood.”
The Soofa Sign is an information sharing platform that has a 42-inch solar powered e-ink display, and members of the community can post announcements via the sign’s content management system (CMS). The Soofa Sign can also display local transit times, PSAs, work of art, and social media feeds. “Soofa makes cities a lot more fun and a lot more connected so that we come back to a bit of a true neighborhood feel,” Richter said. The sign is like a giant Kindle, except it uses less power, runs on renewable energy, and has similarities to a Facebook wall or Twitter timeline. Content contributions, including those previously mentioned, can range from job postings to advertising a business. To do so, one simply goes to talk.soofa.co and registers for the service—convenient and quick when compared to traditional methods. To visually grasp these concepts, check out the video below.
Not only can the signs display curated community content, but they will also collect data, which is meant to assist urban planners and community developers with future building projects. The data collected is not personally identifiable, and Richter commented that Soofa is “trying to get more quantitative data from the health of your public space in a non-invasive way.”
Soofa Signs can currently be found in three American cities: Boston, Las Vegas and Atlanta. For more information on Soofa and the Soofa Sign, please click here.
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