If your phone runs out of charge while sipping a cuppa at Unbox Park, all you need to do to cross over to the island facing the ticket counter of Biswa Bangla Gate. A smart bench has been installed there which has USB charging points powered by a solar panel above.
The bench, installed by IT project management firm Pickle Solutions, has been imported from Singapore. “They approached us with an offer for a smart bench. We asked them for a proof of concept to see if it survives in local conditions through dust, rain and even possible vandalism. They have set up the bench free of cost on land given by us. We are building hotspots in community centres. We have used corporate social responsibility funds to set up benches along MAR. We will test this smart bench over three months to see if it survives the environment. If it proves to be viable, we can install such benches elsewhere as well with or without modification,” said chairman, New Town Kolkata Green Smart City Corporation, Debashis Sen on Wednesday.
Explaining some of the features of the bench, Indrajit Lahiri, director of Pickle Solutions, said: “The bench is fitted with temperature and humidity sensor and has inbuilt GPS. Along with USB charging points and free wifi connectivity, it has a bicycle charging point as well.”
The company, he said, was building a dashboard on cloud whereby the administrator can control the benches remotely to switch on or off their individual features and keep tab on how many points were being used for charging and if any of the benches had been damaged. “This will be of use when several benches get installed across a wide area,” he added.
Sen pointed out that smart benches were there on Smart Street across the Major Arterial Road too. “But this is better as it has LED display,” he said.
This would allow for Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based camera to be fitted. “The camera will use AI to sense who is passing. Then we can shuffle the inbuilt video advertisements to have targeted display of advertisements. That way, when the camera senses women passing, the screen could show a sari advertisement or when children pass, it would pick the moment for, say, sports equipment publicity,” Sen added. That way a bench can generate its own revenue and be a self-sustaining model.
Since it is modular in construction, it can have features added to it, said Lahiri. “We have used basic features for the proof of concept but are working on improvements. The bench can also be fitted with a CCTV device to use it as a security monitor,” he suggested.
• LED ambient light
• USB charging ports
• Wireless charging pads
• 4G-enabled Wifi hotspot
• LED display with sound
• Temperature & humidity sensor
• Bicycle charging