The Soofa Sign is the featured technology in Boston’s Beta Blocks

The Soofa Team at the Beta Blocks soft launch in Lower Allston, Boston, MA

The Soofa Team at the Beta Blocks soft launch in Lower Allston, Boston, MA


Beta Blocks supports local Boston communities to question how new technologies can make their lives better.

Community members, in collaboration with technology providers and the City of Boston, set up real life experiments in the public realm and evaluate the impact of technologies on neighborhoods. This incorporates community values into the municipal technology procurement process from the very beginning.

Beta Blocks is led by the Emerson Engagement Lab and Supernormal, with the main goal to help the City of Boston and the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics answer these key questions:

“What are the problems that communities face? How might technologies help address them? And what trade-offs might communities be making when new technologies are introduced to the places they live? Bringing together the City, technology companies, and local communities, Beta Blocks aims to imagine how technologies can help address the problems neighborhoods face and to set up experiments and discussions to evaluate the impact of technologies on the City.”

The Soofa Sign is the first technology to be evaluated by the public through the Beta Blocks process.

Following a successful soft launch in Lower Allston in May, Beta Blocks will continue on a tour through diverse communities across Boston including Chinatown and Codman Square over the coming months. Community input will be gathered through a series of public meetings and with the help of tech explorers to determine the best placement for Soofa Signs to function as neighborhood news feeds and the features most important for neighborhood residents, visitors, and businesses.

We are thrilled to be part of the Beta Blocks process. At Soofa, we work closely with the communities where we install our technology and co-develop features and functionality together with members of the community, local businesses, and neighborhood organizations.

Are you based in Boston? Attend the launch event on June 15 at the Bolling Building in Roxbury.

Sandra Richter