Picture this: someone leaves their home to go to a restaurant or café, or even to go to work, and half way there, the seamlessly pleasant day turns all of a sudden and it starts to rain heavily. The person’s options up until now have been to either run for cover and wait it out to not spoil whatever they’re wearing, stick whatever they’re carrying over their head assuming it can’t be damaged by the water, or if they’re lucky enough to have checked the weather forecast and brought an umbrella along to pop that open and keep going to wherever they were going.
But how many people actually check the weather forecast frequently and take an umbrella out every time they go somewhere? A fair few but not most. That’s what an enthusiastic group of socially driven graduate students from Hong Kong have thought up. Their idea is to create a device, and also an app, that transforms the umbrella into a beacon of hope, reassuring others around the direct vicinity without an umbrella of their own, that there’s still hope to remain dry.
The project is called ‘Umbrella Here’ and it’s basically a small light that goes on top of someone’s umbrella, fits comfortably there once it starts to rain. This light acts as a beacon of hope signaling to others that the person wielding the Umbrella Here equipped umbrella, is in fact willing to share a dry spot under it! But that’s not all, the four geniuses behind the super concept have cooked up an application to help people remain connected with those they share a dry spell with be it the Umbrella Here holder or the sharer. One simply logs into the app, adds a time and location, then just friends the person and goes on with the conversation from there. There’s an option to not do this in the first place or to remove someone if they turn out to be a less than appropriate umbrella host so the Umbrella Here startup guys have thought of everything! With this great new application you also get to keep track of how many people you share your umbrella with and the different routes you travel, it even reminds you to take your umbrella when you’re out and about so you don’t forget it at work, on public transportation or in cafes and such.
Even when you have the Umbrella Me light at home, it transforms into a little weather gadget which glows different colors to indicate whether it’s hot or cold outside, or whether it’s raining or not to remind you that an umbrella is needed. This tool and app are both part of a kickstarter project that has 15 days to go before it reaches its milestone, but if that happens the creators have promised a release date for public use as early as Jan of 2015.
This is a great easy to use tool that is sure to help people aid others who may have forgotten their umbrellas in staying dry on rainy days.