Is your tendency to forget your stuff more powerful than your hatred of being wet? A new umbrella with a weather-sensing chip in the handle has come to solve your umbrella-forgetting dilemmas.
Oombrella is the dream of all absent-minded and damp people. The wearable (unfurlable?) reached its fundraising goal on Kickstarter earlier this week. Backers who pledged 79 euros (around $90) are entitled to a first edition Oombrella if/when the product goes into production.
The promotional video speaks directly to people who have reason to distrust both weather reports and standard-issue umbrellas.
“Have you ever checked weather conditions on your smartphone, asking yourself if you should take your umbrella with you — before realizing forecasts cannot be trusted?” the video says, in an indictment of meteorologists everywhere. “What if you could trust your umbrella?”
The Oombrella and its connected app are designed to end common umbrella-related problems. It sends you alerts when it’s expected to rain, so you can bring your umbrella outside. If you try to leave without the Oombrella despite precipitation, it will notify you. And if you try to leave the Oombrella at a restaurant or a park, it will pester you via notification to bring it with you.
It also doesn’t rely on traditional weather forecasting methods. Rather, it includes a sensor in the handle that collects real-time data, such as temperature, pressure, humidity, and light.
The creators call it a “mini weather station.” This data is shared with the Oombrella’s community of dry clothing enthusiasts. This feature is expected to be warmly received by everyone who believes that a chip inside of an umbrella is more scientifically accurate than a multi-billion dollar network of weather satellites and radars.
The tip of the Oombrella is threaded, allowing users to screw on accessories. “A smartphone, a GoPro, a camera, whatever,” the video encourages. “Even a golf club, if you want.”
This makes Oombrella the perfect device for anyone who wants to recreate the scene in Caddyshack when the Bishop gets struck by lightning after playing golf in the rain.
In fairness, however, the Kickstarter page disowns the video’s suggestion. “Maybe not the golf club we demoed in our video though,” it says.
If you prefer to get notifications via umbrella, the handle can blink when you get a call or message. That’s perfect for when an Oombrella-predicted thunderstorm becomes too loud to hear your smartphone. It will also kind of make you feel like you have the umbrella of Batman villain The Penguin.
The Oobmrella is offered in three different colors: the ostentatious “Shiny Edition,” the chic “White Edition,” and the classic “Black Edition.” The ribs are made of kevlar, the same material as bulletproof vests. Though this isn’t made explicit on the Kickstarter page, I’m assuming it should not be used in a warzone.
If everything goes according to the proposed timeline, people with short-term memory issues and a hatred of weatherpersons will have their umbrella problems solved when the Oombrella first ships in October.