Walking around in the rain under an umbrella may seem pretty romantic, but getting hit by a motor vehicle while placing your sport coat over a puddle for your lady isn't. How can you avoid such an unfortunate mishap? You can start with the Hi-Reflective Umbrella. In bright hours, it serves as a dark gray mild-mannered umbrella, but when darkness falls, you get what is essentially a blinding spotlight-esque circle that shouts out "Don't hit me!" to the motorists of the world.
Read More | Hi-Reflective Umbrella Product Page
If you’re the type that just loves to cheer people up when they’re down—or you’re just seriously dying for some attention—have we got something for you. Witness the Twilight Spectrum Umbrella. Press the button and over 200 fiber optic lights begin to sparkle in blue, green, purple and red! Perfect for lifting people’s moods when the sky is gray, or be considered a little daffy by passersby—you make the call. Oh, and don’t worry, the light show can be turned off, for those “under the radar” days. The push-button umbrella has a waterproof silver lining and require 3 AAA batteries. All jokes aside, we think it’s a great gift for the kiddies. Available for $39 USD.
Read More | Otherland
For those of you who are never sure when to take your umbrella with you, the Ambient Forecasting Umbrella receives a daily report from Accuweather for about 150 U.S. locations. It also has blue LEDs that will flash if rain or snow is on the way. At a size of 41 1/2 x 58-inch diameter, the push-button opening umbrella also has network signal and low battery indicators, and runs on a single C battery (not included.) We think that for the $99.99 price, we would just as soon only have the handle, because if a huge thunderstorm is on the way, you definitely do not want to be under metal.
Read More | ThinkGeek
Ambient Devices showed off their rain-sensing umbrella. When it sees rain, snow or sleet in the forecast the handle will pulse blue. The pulses are indicative of the severity, but it’s intended to be subtle and inferred, rather than a documented value.
Some great details: The system operates on a passive long-range radio signal. The umbrella wakes up to check the forecast every 15 minutes, and the battery will last 9 months long on a standard cell battery. The passiveness of the system is brilliant, because it requires absolutely no wifi or internet connectivity whatsoever—coverage is provided almost everywhere in the US for this, and all you have to do is set up your zip code from their web site, once. The umbrella will retail for about $99, and they’re looking for a retail partner, but expect to have one by Q2 this year.
Downsides? I live in Phoenix.