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.


Leafxpro shields cyclists from the rain, keeps commuters dry

Riding a bike to work—or anywhere, for that matter—is a great and environmentally-friendly way to get around and stay in shape. The only problem is that cycling can be near impossible when it’s raining.

patent-claimedTo protect from getting wet, the LEAFXPRO was created. This product attaches to all different kinds of bicycles. A clear flap acts as a windshield to protect the rider from rain, but still gives them a proper field of vision when riding. Similarly, another flap rests against the rider’s back to protect from the dirt and grime that the back tire usually kicks up. To make matters even better, the LEAFXPRO was designed in such a way that it won’t slow the rider down.

The LEAFXPRO looks a little bit ridiculous, however. There’s no type of windshield-wiper system in place to wipe water away from the front flap, either. It seems likely that in windy conditions the product might act as a sail. Still, it’s at least some protection against the elements for cyclists. Backers can donate £99 (~$151) for their own, with estimated delivery in September of this year. LEAFXPRO hopes to raise £20,000 (~$30,500) in funding.

Apparel Travel

Nubrella keeps you dry and in the hood at all times

We’ve all been there. Stuck outside walking on a windy rainy night with a flimsy Dollar Store umbrella. Then, a gust of wind surges through, soaking us to the bone and annihilating that cheap umbrella. After that, only a soggy newspaper can provide relief.

Introducing Nubrella. A wearable inversion proof, hands-free umbrella designed to never fail. Worn like a backpack, the umbrella goes up and down much like a hood would. The back part is black, while the front is clear. The front part comes down to cover the face for full protection against the rain, or any other liquid for that matter. Reinforced to withstand strong winds, the canopy is also designed in such a way that wind can’t get underneath it to invert.

While this product looks absolutely ridiculous, it is still a great idea. The typical umbrella model is definitely flawed and it’s about time someone tried to improve it. Complete with a Steve Jobs quote, the Indiegogo campaign is seeking to raise $10,000. Backers can have their very own Nubrella for $49 with estimated delivery just in time for April showers.


With Funnell, a rain-protecting poncho has your back

Hiking, cycling and basically being outdoors can mean sometimes getting caught off guard when the clouds and rain roll in. Those who love to be outside and travel will likely appreciate Funnell. The backpack rain jacket combo includes a parachute-like rip cord for quick and easy access to the jacket (or poncho) that covers both user and the backpack and, get this, does so without the backpack having to be removed!  Taking it off and putting it back together once the rain has stopped is another matter. No rip cord for that move. Nevertheless, the jacket is lightweight, made of polyester and comes in both men’s and women’s sizes. The backpack is 12.5 liters and includes a place for a laptop and pockets for several other essentials. Urban dwellers might be interested to check out the Movpak campaign, which blends skateboard and backpack. This campaign seeks to raise $25,980 by November 22, 2014. For $149, backers get one rain poncho and an expected delivery of March 2015.


Lolli-Simone umbrella contains the rain for dry floors

Lolli-SimoneUmbrellas keep rain off of us, but that same repelled rain sticks to the umbrella and then ends up on the floor when we find shelter. Lolli-Simone eliminates dripping after a storm and comes in a variety of fun colors. The lightweight umbrella has a hard case that, when removed, attaches to the handle so that it doesn’t get lost. Once out of the wet and cold, the umbrella folds and rolls up back into the hard case which is contained so there’s no dripping. Cases get lost all the time and wet floors are a big problem during the rain, so Lolli-Simone fixes two common problems in a clever way for the rare group of umbrella early adopters. Lolli-Simone will cost backers $35 with a campaign goal of $10,000 on Kickstarter.


Lovemebloncho is an upscale Snuggie for the outdoors

Lovemeblancho  9b909f7aefffddff20f754097d01d8d3_large[1]On those frigid winter days when it seems that the best thing to do is to curl up with a cup of cocoa, Lovemebloncho adds additional warmth. The combination poncho/blanket includes a hood, arm holes, front pocket and foot pouch. Originally designed with wheelchair users in mind, the company decided that the product would also do well for babies, teens and adults. For $75, a backer gets the infant size and an expected delivery of May 2014. The cost increases with sizes. The product will appeal to those who found th basic premise eof the Snuggie appealing but want something designed for the outdoors.