Rainy day, you are walking with your umbrella, feeling lucky. In front of you there is a girl walking in hurry and she’s getting wet from the pouring rain. You want to walk up there and say “hey come over here I have an umbrella”. But the sentence stuck in your throat because you are afraid the minute you say it you are considered weirdo or having hidden agenda. Fear no more, with this little gadget by 4 Hong Kong designers, you can now show the availability of your umbrella and perhaps make a new friend during the walk together. ‘Umbrella Here’, a Bluetooth imbedded LED light ring that you can plug into the top of your umbrella. Just like the “For Hire” sign on top of a taxi, when this light ring activates, it conveys your unspoken message – “I am willing to share my umbrella with you”.
One of the designer Patience Lee explained their inspiration: “Every time it rains, those who don’t have umbrella can do nothing but wait outside the metro until the rain stops. Many times, all 4 of us are carrying umbrellas but we are too embarrassed to ask people nearby if they are willing to join us in our umbrellas. That’s why we came up with the Umbrella Here idea, it will send a signal to others that you are willing to share your umbrella without you asking strangers directly.”
But isn’t it a bit troublesome to bring this extra gadget just because you are ready to help others. Don’t worry, the design comes with social features.
It can connected with your phone’s GPS to record how many times your have shared your umbrella and the routes of your shared walk. Login to Umbrella Here website, fill in the time and place of your friendly act, then you can befriend the people that you have helped and start chatting online.
Once connected to your phone, the gadget will also send your a message when you are too far away from your umbrella, this way you won’t lose your umbrella again. On an totally irrelevant thought, if you have a kid, you can put this in your kid’s schoolbag or pocket and get notice when your kid strays too far.
Even when it is not raining outside, Umbrella Here can stay at home and serve as a weather forecaster – it turns red when it’s hot and blue when cold; when it’s about to rain, it blinks to remind you to bring your umbrella and of course the Umbrella Here gadget.
The design is pretty simple, using only Bluebooth and LED technology. Its USB recharged battery can reach full in one and a half hour charging, and lasts up to 1 month. Umbrella Here is quite popular now on Kickstarter.