Connected Objects

Oombrella senses the weather, won’t let umbrella loss rain on your parade

Umbrellas are handy to have when it’s raining, but many consumers wind up needing to replace them after leaving them behind in a taxi, on a train, in a restaurant or many other places.

Oombrella is a smart umbrella that alerts users about impending rain and also lets them know if they are about to leave it behind. The device collects real-time data including temperature, pressure, humidity and light. The electronic capsule at the end of it includes sensors that communicate with smartphones via Bluetooth Low Energy technology, allowing users to know if there is an incoming call or other notification.

A screw thread on top of the umbrella allows users to customize it by screwing on a GoPro or other camera, a golf club, or several other kinds of devices. Oombrella works in conjunction with a wezzoo weather app for Android and iOS devices.

Oombrella ships in October at about $83, but early bird Kickstarter backers can get one in a choice of multi-colored, white or black for a pledge starting at about $66. Early bird backers can also opt to get just the capsule to plug onto their own umbrellas for a pledge of about $32. Its makers hope to raise $65,549 by April 19.

There is a large potential audience for Oombrella, although possibly not for the multi-colored SKU among male consumers. But Oombrella’s no sure thing because there have already been similar products offering much of the same functionality, including the Davek Alert Umbrella and HAZ. Offering the capsule alone for a much lower price may be Oombrella’s best shot. The screw thread customization solution for other devices, meanwhile, doesn’t seem like much of a plus.

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