Wi-Fi umbrella sniffs out the rain

It’ll come as no surprise to soaking wet Brits that an Englishman – Samuel Fox, pub-quizzers – invented the modern umbrella, but now a US company is g

It’ll come as no surprise to soaking wet Brits that an Englishman – Samuel Fox, pub-quizzers – invented the modern umbrella, but now a US company is giving it a 21st Century update with this flashing, weather-forecasting model.

Like a recent prototype from Yanko design (website here), the Forecasting Umbrella has a Wi-Fi chip in the handle which receives updates online forecaster Accuweather if you’re in a hotspot.

The handle then pulses in relation to the chance of rain; if there’s a 100 per cent chance it pulses 100 times per minute, for a 60 per cent it’ll flash once every second, and so on.

It won’t be around to save you from April showers – Ambient Devices say it’ll launch this summer, bizarrely – but we’ll update you when it does arrive.  

You could, of course, just look out of the window or tune into Sian Lloyd, but you’ll be ignoring the ‘buy regardless of frivolity’ clause in your early adopter contract.

If you want a taste of crazy weather forecasting now, Ambient is also selling a glowing weather beacon that pulses when rain is due, and its Orb which goes further with pollen forecasts and traffic congestion.

They’re available on import from Amazon’s international site for $150 (£85) and $180 (£95) respectively – for more background info, head to Ambient’s site here.