Let it not be said that public parks are anti-technology. Over in Boston, city officials are more than happy to try new things in green spaces, including the use of solar-powered smart benches, aka “soofas.” These look a lot like regular benches, except they’re equipped with big, steel-encased blocks that contain vulnerable-looking photovoltaic panels and charging points for weary-legged phone users. There’s also a mishmash of Verizon-connected sensors inside, which record and transmit data about air quality and noise levels. The installation of the benches is being funded by Cisco, which is presumably looking for tangible and endearing ways to promote the internet of things. However, it’s being left up to local Bostonians to pitch which parks deserve to get soofa’d up — and these pitches need to be submitted by July 11th.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
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