Smart Palm trees, being fully solar-powered, are sustainable, date palm tree shaped Wi-Fi hotspots that also offer gadget charging and weather forecast information along with seating and shade – now they ornament Dubai.
Its usual that coffee shops, airports, railway stations act as WiFi hotspots. But Palm trees? Not the natural, but the hi-tech ones. The Smart Palm project, which reminds us of the Sologic’s eTree, was taken up by the Dubai Municipality in line with Dubai’s declaration of 2015 as the ‘Year of Innovation’.
While the Dubai municipality, with the help of the D IDEA media, launched its first Smart Palm tree, last April, at the Zabeel Park, the second one sprouted last Thursday at the beach near the Burj Al Arab.
The 6.5 m tall Smart Palms have a WiFi range of 53 ms, bearing up to 50 users at a time. They are also equipped with 12 charging points, which are designed to support mobile phones and tablets and recharge 2.5 times faster than the regular ones. Due to the solar panels that were fitted on the roof of these Smart Palms, they are totally self-sufficient, even to work all night.
The project, which took 10 months from the concept design to production, is also featuring other services like sea condition and weather warning announcements, government notices, advertising, local news, public transport options and road directions, along with the city information provided through a multilingual and user-friendly community information app. With the provision of a 360-degree infrared CCTV camera and an emergency button, they would be under surveillance round the clock.
However, there are mixed reactions in Dubai public about these Smart Palms. While many are happy for being able to charge their phones in emergency and share their selfies for free, some, though happy for the gadget charging facility, are concerned that the quality time they would spend with nature and their families in beaches and parks, offline, would now be polluted with the internet.
Here is a 360-degree detailed view of Smart Palm and if you are going to visit or stay in Dubai, you should certainly have a look at the map(in the link) that shows the locations of these Smart Palms. The Dubai Municipality announced 50 plus such palm trees to bloom WiFi all over Dubai – mainly in beaches, markets and parks – by the end of 2015.