Umbrellas that Forecast Rain
Ambient Devices has an umbrella that lets you know if you need to take it or not. The Ambient Umbrella (still in development) has a data-radio in its handle that communicates with AccuWeather.com. The light in the handle pulses using the chance of rain per minute, e.g., it pulses 60 times per minute for 60% chance of rain. Communication is wireless and they state they cover over 90% of the United States.
The company itself has an interesting philosophy. They want information to be transparent to the user and already there when it is needed. Instead of going to a website or the paper to see if the stock market has increased or decreased (pull) or setting up an interaction that will interrupt you with the information (push), they have a frosted orb that changes colors based on the market trends. You just need to look at the color to know. With the umbrella, just look at it to see if you need to take it with you.
Making technology transparent — that’s a great goal!