Have you ever been caught running your weekend errands as a sudden April shower crops up? Without warning, your clothes, new purchases and hair become soaked. Lucky for you, the Umbrella Here has arrived to solve all of these problems! The creators of the project — who recently launched a Kickstarter campaign — are looking to “bring strangers together” on these rainy days with a smart light that affixes to the top of your umbrella.
Just like the light on a taxi, the Umbrella Here signals others that your umbrella is available to be shared. Why waste all of that dry space? The Bluetooth-enabled device can even connect you to folks you’ve shared with, as well as point you in the direction of others that have space to share. You can change the color of the light to reflect your mood: green if you are wiling to share it and red if you aren’t.
“We remembered that during rainy days, people without umbrellas would just stand outside the Hong Kong subway station waiting for the rain to stop. The four of us have experienced times when we had an umbrella with us and felt very embarrassed to ask the person next to us to share our umbrella,” Patience Lee, Umbrella Here’s User Interface Designer, recently told TechCrunch.
Even better, the Umbrella Here provides GPS data as to locate its current whereabouts. Never again will you leave your favorite accessory in a coffee shop! Looking to turn the common tagalong into the perfect fashion accessory? Its creators have also incorporated the ability change colors into their design, making sure your spring outfit doesn’t clash.
The Umbrella Here team is currently in China seeking a mass production partnership, but this helpful device was initially prototyped with an Atmel based Arduino board. “We’ve taken every step to ensure that we have a successful launch for Umbrella Here. We have brought our Umbrella Here digital prototype that we have built with Arduino to Shenzhen, the manufacturing capital of the world. In Shenzhen, we found a product designer and an electronic engineer to help us work on Umbrella Here to make it ready for manufacturing,” a company rep revealed.
This isn’t the first time we’ve written about a ‘smart’ umbrella on Bits & Pieces. A team of Copenhagen-based students recently devised an umbrella capable of collecting air pollution data during a nice stroll through the park or en route to work. Evident by these creations, Atmel and Arduino continue to inspire and enable individuals to produce the innovative apparatus they’ve always imagined. As MAKE Magazine’‘s Phillip Torrone explained, “Arduino prototyped projects are ideas that usually wouldn’t actually happen, things we normally just dream about. But now these fantastic ideas are brought to life, and it’s very likely a non-engineer made them.”
Thanks to its innovative features, this smart umbrella device will prevent you from ever having to depend on incorrect weather forecasts or looking out the window to remember if you need to bring your umbrella again. With just days left of its Kickstarter campaign, the team is now more than two-thirds of the way towards its $15,000 goal. For more information about the Umbrella Here, head over to their Kickstarter page here.