There are many things we might expect to see with a solar power panel on them: cell phones, outdoor lights, GPS systems…we might not even be that surprised to see solar cells on cars or lawn mowers. But few people would probably ever expect to see a solar powered bench, but that is exactly what the Solar Inside is. While it’s not reality yet, the concept for this solar powered bench is quite unusual, and it’s certainly more than just something to sit on.
Solar Inside was designed by Owen Song, Byung-Min Woo, and Seon-Keun Park, and it uses very thin solar panels that can actually work in many different weather conditions. These panels charge up the Solar Inside’s rechargeable battery. During the night, this battery powers the bench’s night lights, but it does much more than that: the bench also features a WiFi system that is powered by solar energy, too. This means that anyone with a laptop can sit down, boot up, and have access to the internet for as long as the bench has energy.
In addition to using solar energy, the entire Solar Inside bench is environmentally friendly. The frame is made from recycled aluminum and recycled plastic. The entire thing is self-contained, so it doesn’t need to be plugged in to anything or be near any special location, although there could be some WiFi limitations depending on signal strength.
The Solar Inside isn’t completed yet, and there could be some design changes (a back or a cell phone charger plug would be great additions). It probably won’t be too long before these appear in parks around the world, though. The idea of using benches as power generators is a great idea.