A new way for students to study outside of the traditional library or coffee shop is now available in Iuka Park, minutes away from Ohio State’s campus.
OotBox, launched this summer, is an outdoor meeting, study or group space that travels around Columbus and could eventually have a permanent presence on campus. The space is equipped with secure Wi-Fi, temperature control and a smart keypad to give users security, Robbie Friedman, founder of ootBox, said.
The ootBox also consists of 36 square feet of storefront glass, and four people can fit in the space comfortably, according to the company’s website.
For the past five months, the company has been testing the pod in multiple locations, including Upper Arlington, Bexley and the Short North, to see where it is most helpful. Recently, the company realized its effectiveness as a study pod and wanted to learn how it would help Ohio State students, Friedman said.
“A college campus is a unique location because anything can happen,” Friedman said, “When we put it in the Short North, it immediately became a workspace, but on a college campus, there is more curiosity and possibilities on what it could be used for.”
Students can reserve an ootBox on the company’s website beginning at $8 for one hour, $12 for two hours and $15 for three hours, according to ootBox’s website.
Taylor Hughes, a recent Ohio State alumna, said that when ootBox got delivered to her office space, it was a great new way to have team meetings outside of work, while still being near the office.
“Being able to get outside of what you do every day — whether that is me being in meetings all day or students being in the library all day, having this new environment to study, work or relax in is very refreshing,” Hughes said.
Hughes said she would have loved to have had this at Ohio State when she was a student-athlete because it is a “good space for student-athletes to get out and go study after being stuck in the gym for eight hours a day.”
Friedman said his goal is to have ootBox on many college campuses as an ideal study space.
“It is an inviting environment and can be a mental health break to relax and focus,” Hughes said.