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Former Samsung Engineers Build Smart Umbrella That Tells If It's Going To Rain (mashable.com) 89

A team of former Samsung engineers have developed a smart umbrella, dubbed Opus One, that tells its owner if it's going to rain with the shake of the handle. International Business Times reports: Developed by a team of former Samsung engineers, Opus One smart umbrella works when it is connected to the smartphone via Bluetooth 4.1 through its companion app Jonas. The device gets weather reports every morning from credible sources and sends alert to its owner when its handle is shaken. Red light on the device indicates rain on that particular day, while a green one indicates clear skies. Jonas collects weather data of select cities and sends the information to Opus One smart umbrella, thus helping the owner to know if it's going to rain on a particular day. The device notifies its owner by vibrating if the smartphone connected to the app receives calls, emails or text messages. The smart umbrella also vibrates if its owner leaves behind the smartphone that is connected to it before the user gets too far away. The smartphone too will vibrate and alert its owner if the smart umbrella is left behind. This will help prevent loss of both the products. The umbrella runs on AAA batteries and costs about $105.
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Former Samsung Engineers Build Smart Umbrella That Tells If It's Going To Rain

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  • by Rick Schumann ( 4662797 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2016 @07:53PM (#53437071) Journal
    The only way they could have designed this to be more of a meme is if they made it an 'Internet of Things' device, and made it 'wirelessly charging'.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      This is what they call a "solution looking for a problem".

      I normally use information to decide if I need an umbrella - I don't randomly go around the house touching things and waiting for an LED to flash.
      What next? The "am I thirsty" waterbottle? Oh wait we already made that.

      Seriously, this is like autonomy-inversion.

      • by lgw ( 121541 )

        This is what they call a "solution looking for a problem".

        I normally use information to decide if I need an umbrella - I don't randomly go around the house touching things and waiting for an LED to flash.
        What next? The "am I thirsty" waterbottle? Oh wait we already made that.

        Seriously, this is like autonomy-inversion.

        Ah, but this way the umbrella catches fire. How many flaming umbrellas do we get your way, eh?

      • by Quirkz ( 1206400 )

        I normally use information to decide if I need an umbrella - I don't randomly go around the house touching things and waiting for an LED to flash.

        It would be much cooler if the entire umbrella skin could change color. As you're walking out the door, you just glance at the umbrella, and if it's sky blue you know the day will be clear, but if it's dark red then you'd better take it with you.

        This will eventually set up a movie dramatic convention where someone runs out of the house in a hurry and the camera slowly pans to the umbrella, delivering its silent, ruddy foreshadowing of trouble.

        Future editions of the umbrella will also turn bright yellow (kno

    • . . . did they mention that it is 3D-printed . . . ?

      IoU, Internet of Umbrellas, indeed.

    • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

      The only way they could have designed this to be more of a meme is if they made it an 'Internet of Things' device, and made it 'wirelessly charging'.

      Wireless charging actually would have improved the design considerably. Use a coil of wire wrapped around the center shaft and jacket the whole thing in epoxy, then build a vertical tube that inductively charges all the smart umbrellas that people put into it (and tolerates dumb umbrellas).

    • The only way they could have designed this to be more of a meme is if they made it an 'Internet of Things' device, and made it 'wirelessly charging'.

      I want the umbrella from The Kingsman...

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The only way they could have designed this to be more of a meme is if they made it an 'Internet of Things' device, and made it 'wirelessly charging'.

      Old news. To be charged wirelessly just get on the high ground and point an umbrella up during a thunderstorm.

    • This is usually my initial reaction as well. However, then I think about how this might be handy for someone who is blind.

      Just because *I* think it seems silly, doesn't mean there isn't someone who might find it useful.

  • With so many sources of weather forecasts, with news, with notifications, an umbrella doing the same thing is pretty meh... That the umbrella pairs with phone to help either from getting lost -- that's a feature possibly worth $105. Until the umbrella blows inside out, then I'm back to $10 ones.
    • by quenda ( 644621 )

      That the umbrella pairs ... that's a feature possibly worth $105.

      Not when a $5 bluetooth-LE proximity tag will do the same job. And when your umbrella is wrecked, move the tag to the next one.

      The tag can even beep if your app detects you are leaving and rain is forecast. Sorry to wreck the slashvertisement.

      • That the umbrella pairs ... that's a feature possibly worth $105.

        Not when a $5 bluetooth-LE proximity tag will do the same job. And when your umbrella is wrecked, move the tag to the next one.

        The tag can even beep if your app detects you are leaving and rain is forecast. Sorry to wreck the slashvertisement.

        Quenda,

        You're right, a small $5 solution is better than a fragile $105 solution. I stand corrected.

        I'm not sure if I ever saw somebody admit to an error in /. before...

  • by Motherfucking Shit ( 636021 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2016 @07:54PM (#53437077) Journal

    With AAA batteries it's unlikely to start a fire, and even if it does, the rain will put it out.

    • by ls671 ( 1122017 )

      Jeez, how old are you?

      Don't you know yet that it never rains when you carry your umbrella?

      • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 )

        That's precisely why I carry one. And for those cases where it doesn't work, well, I have an umbrella.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      have faith! it's samsung. you never know how big the 'boom' will be.

  • Ok (Score:5, Informative)

    by nitehawk214 ( 222219 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2016 @07:54PM (#53437079)

    If I already have the umbrella with me, it doesn't matter if it is going to rain or not. I can wait for it to start raining. If I am outside, I will know if it is raining or not.

    If it has to communicate with a phone to determine if it is raining. Well... why not just use the phone?

    If you want a $100 umbrella. Get one of these [unbreakableumbrella.com]. I live in a rather windy city and have never had an inversion or damage. Makes a nice walking stick, as I can put all of my weight on it with no problems. I have not used it for self defense, however.

    My guess is the "smart" umbrella is a cheap $10 dollar one (that they sell at the convenience store for $20 when it is raining), with some crappy electronics in it.

    • why not just use the phone?

      A phone makes a lousy umbrella. Wear a smile instead.

    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      Let me give a shout out to the London's James Smith & Sons cane shop. A hundred pounds will buy you an umbrella (made in the basement on site) that will be passed down to your distant descendants. When I went there 25 years ago they were still selling sword sticks. I purchased folding model for myself that unfurled to near golf-umbrella proportions. And for the tremendous sum of £140 (which would be £250 today) I bought my wife a magnificent umbrella which she forgot on the subway the fir

    • Or get one of those https://www.getkisha.com/ [getkisha.com] Talking about "unbreakable" https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]
      • Nice. The inversion is really a safety feature. Prevents the holder from being blown away, or the umbrella from being torn from his hands.

  • For a smart umbrella it's pretty dumb.

  • by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2016 @08:07PM (#53437131)

    So stupid.

    Why would you be carrying an umbrella in the first place if you didn't expect it to rain?

    Couldn't you check the weather report on any of 5000 weather sites, or god forbid, look out a fucking window?

    This is an idiot's 'solution' to a non-existent problem.

    (Fortunately for me, I live in Seattle- I know it's going to rain.)

    • Tucson has similar predictability. If you see a cloud, it's going to rain.

    • by Nethead ( 1563 )

      But if you live in Seattle you would never actually use an umbrella.

      • But if you live in Seattle you would never actually use an umbrella.

        This is true. I haven't owned an umbrella in at least 30 years; a good Goretex parka is all you really need.

        • But if you live in Seattle you would never actually use an umbrella.

          This is true. I haven't owned an umbrella in at least 30 years; a good Goretex parka is all you really need.

          I stopped when the yuppies started using golf umbrellas that took up the entire sidewalk.

          • I stopped when the yuppies started using golf umbrellas that took up the entire sidewalk.

            Ahhh, a fellow Seattleite? Are you freezing yer knobs off this morning too? It was 17 degrees out when I woke up. :(

            • I stopped when the yuppies started using golf umbrellas that took up the entire sidewalk.

              Ahhh, a fellow Seattleite? Are you freezing yer knobs off this morning too? It was 17 degrees out when I woke up. :(

              I'm in Pennsylvania. Our Yuppies specialize in umbrellas, and baby carriages that are at least 4 feet across.

              17 in Seattle? Damn, that's off. Every time I was there is wasn't hot, but it wasn't cold, either. Though there was the one time it was clear every day from September through November when I was there. It's low 40's here, not too bad for December.

    • To be fair, you can also use an umbrella when it's sunny. And it might be the solution for their lack of wealth if they get investors to buy into their idea, which, given the current state of affairs, is not that unlikely :)

    • Re:STUPID (Score:4, Funny)

      by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2016 @09:27AM (#53439561)
      Next up, silverware that tells you if there is food on your plate, and an implant sensor in your legs to tell you is you have pants on or not.
  • I believe you can find a video of the prototype at 35 seconds here. [youtube.com]
  • The smart umbrella also vibrates if its owner leaves behind the smartphone that is connected to it before the user gets too far away. The smartphone too will vibrate and alert its owner if the smart umbrella is left behind. This will help prevent loss of both the products.

    No. You can still lose both items... this makes it tough to lose just the one .

  • Now we know why.
  • This will go nicely with my bullet-proof vest that alerts me when gun crime is reported nearby.

  • I bet they burnt lots of midnight oil to pull off this glowing achievement. Quite frankly, this fiery company is doing wonders to rekindle people's interest in the world of hi-tech.
  • Scenario 1:

    Hey, smart umbrella owner, is it going to rain today?

    Erm... let me see. Damn! Left my umbrella in a cafe/on the metro/etc.

    Scenario 2:,

    Hey, smart umbrella owner, is it going to rain today?

    Hang on, let me check. I left it over... Hey! Who's stolen my umbrella!

  • We Thought You like things Exploding in your pants.

    Now, Introducing Our Newest Innovation to make sure your backpack Expand and Explode on rainy season.

    Disclaimer: Product may cause discomfort, tightness, and headache when used. Satisfaction not guaranteed.

  • Is the evolution of the word "smart" complete yet? At the very least, lexicographers should now include the following:

    adj., unnecessarily complicated. augmented with electronics in a way that is perceived as foolish.

    • Is the evolution of the word "smart" complete yet?

      No, not until it is common to use they term thusly:

      "My son is so smart, he failed gym class"

  • I dont carry an umbrella unless there's a chance of rain or it is in fact raining, there's like 8 things from when I get up to when I leave to tell me the weather of the day why would I want THIS?

  • Why would I check a device that I typically don't need to touch (umbrella) to determine if I need an umbrella. Wouldn't the better solution be to check another device I have in my possession daily to determine if I need the umbrella? Admittedly, I only read the article summary. Go easy on me!
  • If you left it at home, it's going to rain.

  • My regular old umbrella already does that by following a simple procedure. Look in back seat. If I don't see the umbrella, it will rain. If I do see it, clear skies.

  • If I take it to work, it won't rain, if I leave it at home it will pour.

  • ... especially the price.
  • That let me know it's going to be sunny out! And the windbreaker, thermal underwear...

  • We get all four seasons, sometimes within the same 24 hour period. And, in some rare instances, within the same couple hours! We keep a coat in our vehicles until after Memorial day. We had snow last year in MAY. We've had tornadoes after thanksgiving. We've had rain, hail, thunderstorms & snow in the same night. An umbrella that can tell us when it will rain? Yeah right.

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