If you’re fed up with those unreliable drugstore umbrellas that are always breaking in the wind or getting lost when you need them most, this freshly-launched Kickstarter project might be just what you need. Oombrella, as it’s called, is a connected umbrella that features a broad suite of environmental sensors that can send updates/notifications to your smartphone. The device allows users to receive real-time weather notifications, and even retrieve a lost umbrella through Oombrella’s community of users.
According to the product’s Kickstarter page, Oombrella features a set of Kevlar ribs so that the umbrella can withstand high winds and heavy rain without damage. Down below, the handle is made of injected plastic to ensure that the sensor capsule is completely waterproof. Oombrella’s magic is all packed away inside this capsule, which includes sensors to measure temperature, pressure, humidity, and light. The capsule then uses Bluetooth to transmit this data to the Oombrella mobile app — so users can receive weather notifications before the rain even starts. The capsule also features a buzzer and LED light so you can get notifications while your phone is in your pocket.
Those who purcahse an Oombrella will also get access to Wezzoo, Oombrella’s connected user community. Members can share hyper-local weather information in real time, so other oombrella users can get extremely accurate weather reporting for their specific area (assuming there are enough fellow users nearby). The Wezzoo community also helps members find their lost Oombrellas by coordinating last-seen data with the community’s location data. Much like Tile-enabled umbrellas and other products that rely on crowdsourced GPS, Oombrella promises you’ll never lose your umbrella again.
Oombrella comes in a Classic style that’s about 3.1 feet long with a curved handle, and a Portable version that is 0.8 feet long with a straight handle. The Oombrella capsule will also be available on its own, so you could theoretically turn any regular umbrella into a smart Oombrella. The Kickstarter campaign is looking to raise just over $65,500 by mid-April, and backers can get all kinds of Oombrella perks. A pledge of about $32 will get you a capsule to update your own umbrella with, and pledges of $66 or more will unlock a variety of full Oombrella editions in your choice of rainbow, black, or white. If all goes according to plan, Oombrellas will ship in October 2016.