An umbrella hastily snatched on the way out the door can easily become another item left behind, as the weather clears up and we continue on our merry, baggage-free way. But what if your brolly had a tracking device built-in, meaning when it is misplaced you can simply whip out your phone and hone in on its whereabouts? High-end umbrella maker Blunt has teamed up with Bluetooth-tracker specialists Tile to produce what it calls the first smart umbrella, looking to make sure you're never caught unprepared again.
Blunt first got our attention with its new take on the umbrella back in 2009. The unique design does away with the sharp metal points protruding from the canopy's edges, replacing them with blunt tips that are claimed to better prevent tears in the fabric, and make the umbrella less of a threat to nearby eyeballs.
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Its latest models incorporate the Tile tracking device into the canopy, which is a matchbook-sized sensor usually slapped on valuables such as keys or wallets. With a Bluetooth LE module inside, Tile communicates its location to a user's mobile app, enabling them to hunt down their misplace items.
The Blunt Metro XS+ Tile model is a foldable umbrella said to be capable of enduring winds of more than 50 mph (80 km/h). The Blunt Classic + Tile revisits the company's original design and can withstand winds of more than 70 mph (112 km/h).
The Tile sensor can help the user to track down their lost umbrella in two ways. If nearby, they can open the app within 50 to 100 ft (15 to 30 m) and press a Find button, which makes the umbrella emit a tune. If the umbrella is lost and the user is not sure where, then the app will point out its location on a map. Additionally, there is the Community Find feature which, if another Tile user happens to be within range of the lost umbrella, it discretely sends the owner its location.
The Tile app is available for iPhone 4s or newer, with support for Samsung's Galaxy S5 on the way. The Blunt Metro XS+ Tile is priced at US$69, while the Blunt Classic + Tile will set you back $99. Both are available now direct from Blunt.
Source: Blunt UmbrellasView gallery - 6 images