Soofa Sign is World’s First Solar-Powered Wirelessly Connected Community Bulletin Board

1

The Soofa Sign is the world’s first solar-powered, wirelessly connected digital community bulletin board.

The Sign offers great visibility in adverse light conditions, with no light pollution. Completely cordless, the boards are self-powered by a solar cell, making them installable with just a few bolts. Cellular connectivity allows for real-time content updates such as bus arrival times and event programs.

More than 75 Signs have been installed throughout the United States.

Nominating Company: E Ink Corporation, Billerica, Massachusetts
Venue: Soofa Sign, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Project: Soofa Sign
Category: Venues & Public Spaces

BACKGROUND
Soofa was spun out of MIT in 2014 to build a dynamic, human-centered infrastructure for cities to communicate with and engage citizens. Soofa has since deployed smart urban furniture in numerous cities and counties globally.

In May 2017, Soofa launched the Soofa Sign. The Sign is made up of a 42-inch E Ink display and is powered by advanced signage technology, which allows the Sign to be extremely energy efficient and seamlessly update with real-time content.

The result is an extremely durable, low-power outdoor sign that is self-powered by a solar cell, has great visibility in adverse light conditions and connects wirelessly, all without any light pollution.

The sign was engineered to function as a standalone unit displaying important information at a single park, bus stop or public plaza, as well as part of a network spanning numerous community public spaces throughout a neighborhood.

CHALLENGES
New technology can be challenging for cities to install and support. Change is hard in a traditionally risk-averse environment like local government.

We also ran into several hurdles building an outdoor, solar-powered Sign that runs smoothly in all kinds of weather.

eink_apexawards_publicspaces_soofasign_nicolesignSOLUTIONS
A highly successful beta program was run to refine and stabilize the technology and content management web app. Ultimately, the goal of testing and using the latest technology available is to continually enhance the user experience on a daily basis.

RESULTS
Simple, beautiful and relevant content displayed brings about extremely high levels of engagement.

The Soofa Sign changes the way people communicate with each other and cities with their constituents in outdoor public spaces. Soofa is systematically testing levels of user engagement across a variety of content types with plans to then replicate across the United States in 2018 and Europe in 2019.

PROJECT PARTNERS
Soofa: Developer/Designer
E Ink Corporation: Display Provider

1 Comment

  1. Are these signs are suitable for the bright light environment? Are these signs are able to adjust the brightness according to the environment automatically?

Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.