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31 July 2007

Umbrella That Forecasts Rain


NEW YORK (Reuters)
An American company named Ambient Devices has successfully developed an umbrella, which can predict when it’s going to rain. The company specializing in integrating internet information into everyday product devised the umbrella by installing a radio receiver built in its handle. The radio receiver receives weather data for 150 U.S locations from forecasting site Accuweather.com via a proprietary wireless network. The umbrella alerts the user of the forecast received by lightening up the handle of the umbrella. In addition, the handle also vibrates to indicate the condition of the weather. For example, a soft, intermittent pulse means you can expect light rain while a very rapid, intense pattern signals thunderstorms ahead.
"You can put this umbrella by the door, in an umbrella stand, and on your way out it'll be telling you if this is the day when you are going to need an umbrella," Prince told Reuters.

However, apart from running on battery, the users are required to activate the unit via customer service phone line. The umbrella is priced at USD$140 and goes on sale this week.
More info at Company devises umbrella that forecasts rain
What do you think of this product? Is it worth spending USD$140 for an umbrella with built in weather forecast receiver? What will they devise next? A pen that tells you it times to take a break or a credit card that warn you of your credit limit. Perhaps a spectacles that tells you need more light.

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