No need to ask Siri – this smart umbrella knows if you'll need it
If a device has a companion app that gives weather forecasts, then that means the device itself doesn't predict the weather … right? Nonetheless, we have seen a few app-accompanied products that make such claims. The TARAbrella, however, is different. It's a stand-alone umbrella that is said to be able to tell when it's going to rain.
When not in use, the TARAbrella sits in a wall-mounted charging cradle.
While hanging out there, it uses a built-in digital barometer to monitor the atmospheric air pressure, once every 35 seconds. It also tracks humidity using an onboard hygrometer. A microprocessor processes data from those two sensors, basing a weather forecast on how the pressure and humidity values change over time.
Users are alerted to potential rain via a color-changing LED display in the handle of the umbrella. If that display stays transparent, then skies are likely to stay clear or partially cloudy for the next six hours. A partially blue display means cloudy skies, while solid blue warns of rain. Just how accurate is it? Who knows? One wonders if it could potentially be thrown off by indoor humidity changes caused by activities such as cooking steamy meals.
Additionally, like the Blunt + Tile umbrella, it's designed to keep you from forgetting it at the places you go. This is accomplished by removing a wireless "Anti-Lost" fob from its handle when you drop it off, and sticking that fob in your pocket. Should you try leaving for home without the umbrella, the fob will beep once it's taken more than 30 feet (9 m) away from it.
Finally, the tip of the umbrella contains an LED that can be activated to increase your visibility to motorists – or to make you look like an extra from Blade Runner.
The TARAbrella is currently the subject of an Indiegogo campaign, where a pledge of US$49 will currently get you one – assuming it reaches production, that is. The planned retail price is $89.