Connected Objects

Raincheck’s smart, artful design puts other umbrella stands in check

Rain and snow: the city slicker’s most hated enemies. Everything becomes just a little bit harder when either enters the picture, which is why getting caught unprepared is the epitome of a bad day. Designer Nick Jonas’ (not that oneRaincheck is an umbrella stand with a touch of smarts to ensure that never happens.

The product is comprised of beautifully lacquered, dark walnut wood sculpted into a tall, rectangular stand perfect for a few umbrellas. What makes Raincheck special are the eight dots of light installed within that are connected to Wi-Fi that are constantly updated on the weather.

Each signifies one of the next eight hours, with the way they blink or stay steady informing the owner of that hour’s weather forecast. If one is steadily blue, there’s a clear day to look forward to. If it blinks blue, it will rain while if it blinks white, it will snow. If one of the dots blinks red, it’s an indication of extreme weather, so time to stay inside. Each is priced at a cool $299, with an estimated delivery date of May 2015. Nick Jonas is looking for $25,000 to make his product a reality by November 12th, 2015.

Raincheck is a stunningly beautiful piece of design, but almost too simple. As it does nothing else but tell you the weather, it’s difficult to justify a $299 price tag. The Davek Alert Umbrella is a worthy alternative that boasts the same weather-alerting functionality while boasting far more versatility.

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