Good news for Candy Crush addicts, bad news for phone boxes: Islington has launched the first of London’s solar powered ‘smart benches’, where you can charge your phone and access free wifi. That means no more searching for your friends under those big metal wings in Angel Central when your phone runs out of juice. They also have built-in sensors that allow you to monitor the air quality in the borough, something that has been playing on most Londoners' minds since Sadiq Khan issued a black level toxic air alert in January.
The benches were created as part of a collaboration between Strawberry Energy UK, MKTG and Cancer Research UK and launched to coincide with World Cancer Day on February 4. Using a contactless payment feature on the smart bench, you can donate £2 to the Cancer Research UK charity while scrolling your Instagram. There are now five benches installed across Islington Green, Newington Green, Old Street and Essex Road as a pilot, with a further ten to be rolled out in different areas of London by the end of February. Those classic red telephone boxes are just ornamental at this point, so you can save your pound coins for the King's Head pub.
Find out more about the smart benches here.
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