Meet Jibo. On track to exist next year, Jibo is being marketed as “the world’s first family robot.” The bulbous little guy can read to kids in the living room, recite recipes in the kitchen, take photos in the yard, and perform a handful of other simple tasks. Jibo is also a little bit creepy.
A new initiative in Boston is bringing Soofas, solar powered benches that can not only charge your gadgets, but also monitor air quality and sound levels, to several city parks in a pilot program
The Soofas, called “smart urban furniture”, were developed by Changing Environments, a spinoff of MIT Media Lab, and are capable of charging mobile gadgets via two USB ports, thanks to a solar panels and the free energy of the sun. And while they’re charging phones and powering Facebook updates, they’re also gathering environmental data about air quality and noise levels nearby, and uploading them to a public map online.