Until technology advances to the point that we can actually control the weather, we’ll need to rely on umbrellas to stay dry in the rain. So why not pick up a high-tech umbrella in the meantime? There are a few options out there, but Oombrella mixes smart technology with an elegant design, while also adding a few unique features.
It’s on Kickstarter now and is racing towards its $65,000 crowd-funding goal with just a few days left to go.
Oombrella’s key feature is a set of sensors packed into the handle. By measuring the temperature, humidity, air pressure and light, the umbrella can predict when it’s about to rain and send a notification to your phone so you don’t end up getting soaked. It also taps into the company’s pre-existing social weather network, Wezzoo, to provide accurate forecasts all over the world.
As an added bonus, Oombrella will warn you if you’re about to leave it behind at a restaurant or some other public location. All that technology is powered by a tiny swappable battery that only needs to be replaced one every three years, thanks to a special sleep mode that keeps energy consumption low.
The company also designed a screw thread that can be used to attach various accessories to the top of your umbrella. That could be anything from a GoPro camera to the head of a golf club, if you’re feeling particularly weird.
The actual umbrella part of Oombrella is also well designed and durable. The canopy is made from a strong material that comes in white, black or a colorful “shiny” option. The interior frame consists of Kevlar ribs that should hold up to powerful winds or worse. It’s available in two sizes: a larger classic model or a small model that fits in your bag.
Oombrella is available on Kickstarter for $71 and ships in October. The company is also offering all those weather-measuring sensors separately in a small $32 capsule that you can attach to your own regular umbrella to make it smart.
The French firm behind Oombrella already has software experience, and it’s partnering with another local hardware company to finalize this new product. The project is also part of an accelerator program run by Chinese mobile giant Alcatel, so maybe that will help it advance without too many delays.