Former Samsung engineers team up to bring smart tech to umbrellas

As the current course of making devices smarter reaches an absolute fever, a new smart gadget hailing from a team of ex-Samsung engineers just might seem like the trend’s most unusual addition. No, it’s not an artificially intelligent refrigerator or even an autonomous vacuum but rather, a smart umbrella. Dubbed the Opus One — and already in circulation in Japan and Korea — the rig is intended to alert users to whether or not they should tote the thing with them before leaving the house each morning.

Though news of this sort is likely to draw reactions such as, “it’s not hard to look outside before you leave” or “there is no way it could accurately predict the weather,” the specifications for the Opus One are intriguing. Capable of scanning trusted local weather reports via Yahoo Weather each morning, owners simply shake the umbrella to quickly see if the device is needed that day or not — blinking red means rain is on the way while green signifies it is safe to leave the umbrella at home.

Opus One
Opus One

While leaning on a Bluetooth connection to a smartphone to gather weather data, the Opus One also leverages this connectivity to offer its owner even more useful features. Say, for instance, someone leaves their umbrella on the bus, the umbrella’s connection to a companion smartphone allows it to notify the user before they get too far away or (in this scenario) before the bus leaves. Furthermore, the Opus One also boasts the capability to send vibrated notifications to users when they receive text messages, emails, or phone calls — once again, by utilizing the Bluetooth connection.

Aesthetically, the Opus One looks like any other standard umbrella, however, the designers added their own bit of flare and offer two different varieties: a mustachioed, bowler hat version and one featuring a queen’s guard. As mentioned, it’s only currently available in Japan and Korea, retailing for roughly $105 (10,778 yen) but its recent push back into the news sphere suggests the firm is looking to expand.

At $105, the Opus One certainly isn’t cheap for an umbrella but considering its weather-predicting abilities, Bluetooth tethering, and notification ability, it’s likely the last umbrella anyone would ever need to own. Construction-wise, the designers chose to craft the water-repellant top out of a premium pongee fabric coated in weatherproofing, while outfitting the interior shafts of sturdy fiberglass to ensure supreme durability. Additionally, the device runs on four AAA batteries and is said to function for up to a year under normal use.


Best deals on smart locks so you’ll never have to worry about unlocked doors

Is your front door locked? We found the best deals on smart home door locks that take the worry out of wondering if your home is secure. You can lock or unlock your doors remotely and some models let you control locks with voice commands.
Smart Home

Amazon Alexa enhancements add geolocation, kids’ Routines, and more

Amazon's digital assistant Alexa continues to evolve and its newest features should appeal to busy people and parents on the go, including location-based routines and reminders as well as Routines aimed toward kids.
Emerging Tech

Feast your eyes on the wildest, most elaborate Rube Goldberg machines ever built

Want to see something totally mesmerizing? Check out several of the best Rube Goldberg machines from across the internet, including one that serves cake and other that do ... nothing particularly useful.

The best weather apps for the iPhone

Don't rely solely on your local meteorologist to stay up to date on the weather. Take matters into your own hands with one of these weather apps, each of which brings something unique to the table.
Smart Home

How to talk to Santa on Alexa and Google Assistant

Nothing say "holiday" like talking to Santa. Here's how to talk to Santa on Alexa and Google Assistant, whether he's helping you create a playlist or checking to see if you've been naughty or nice this week.
Smart Home

Tired of running outdoors? Check out the best treadmills of 2018

Running can burn up to 900 calories per hour, melting away fat and strengthening your muscles.  Compared to running outdoors, you're safer staying indoors on a cushioned track. We've rounded up the best treadmills on the market

Breathe easy, stay warm with Amazon’s one-day deal on a Dyson air purifier fan

Dyson is a leader in bringing consumers the latest in heating, cooling, and air purification. Its Pure Hot + Cool Link HP02 does all three — and for today only, it’s on sale on Amazon for $359. That’s $241 off the suggested retail…
Smart Home

LG is rolling out the barrels at CES 2019 with a craft beer machine

Looking to get into the beer making game? With the help of LG, you can become a brewmaster at home. The electronics maker is rolling out the LG HomeBrew, an at-home beer making machine at CES 2019.

Save big on these Braun electric razors and women’s epilators

Amazon and Walmart are currently offering limited-time deals for Braun electric razors and women's epilators. If you plan to make your way through all the festive parties this year with fresh smooth these tools will help.

The best air fryer deals you can still snag before Christmas

Christmas is closing in on us fast, but you still have a little bit of time left for last-minute kitchen gifts. We've searched the depths of Amazon and Walmart to bring you the best air fryer deals going on right now.

These Amazon kitchen deals are perfect for Christmas gifts and healthy eating

Today is day 10 of Amazon’s “12 Days of Deals,” and it’s all about kitchen. From blenders to Instant Pots to KitchenAid mixers and more, practical yet highly coveted small appliances are available for up to 50 percent off.
Smart Home

Ring Alarm vs. Nest Secure: Which one is right for you?

Thanks to the advance of technology, it's become really easy nowadays to secure your home and protect it from thieves, intruders, and unwanted guests. Which one of these two top contenders is right for you?
Product Review

The Brava Oven takes all the thinking out of cooking

Using bulbs to cook food at different light frequencies, the Brava Oven lets even the clueless cook a tasty meal. But your own smart chef doesn’t come cheap.
Smart Home

The Apple HomePod gets a whole lot cheaper today at Target

Apple's HomePod hasn't been the most popular smart speaker on the market but for users who are all in on Apple's heavily policed ecosystem of devices, this smart speaker is on serious sale at Target this week.