Boston is introducing new park benches, called Soofas, which use solar panels to collect energy and allow anyone to charge their mobiles while they rest their feet.

The benches are also able to transmit data so information on things like air quality and noise levels can be tracked, via Verizon's network.

The benches were invented by MIT Media Lab spinoff Changing Environments, a Verizon Innovation Program.

A pilot program will run over the next week in several city parks.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh commented: "We are fortunate to have talented entrepreneurs and makers in Boston thinking creatively about sustainability and the next generation of amenities for our residents."

Hopefully these will prove popular and we'll start seeing them in parks worldwide soon.

READ: Transparent solar panel display charges your phone through the screen