Conventional umbrellas have at least three common issues: you often get caught without one when you most need it, it can easily be left where you last used it, and it can collapse in high wind. The oombrella tackles all three by telling you when it's going to rain, alerting you when you've left it behind, and sports a Kevlar frame to keep its form when the wind picks up.
What gives the oombrella its smarts is a capsule embedded in the handle that contains a series of sensors to collect information on humidity, temperature, pressure, and light. That data is used to predict if rain is imminent and, if so, sends a notification to a free smartphone app (iOS or Android) via Bluetooth. The alert is designed to go out 15 minutes before the drops start falling, providing you with enough time to grab the oombrella.
The handle also has a built-in buzzer and light that activate to let you know when you've got an incoming call. That could come in handy when you're outside in a storm and your phone is buried under a few layers of clothing.
If you want to share your weather-related data, oombrella connects to the weather sharing app, wezzoo, created by the same people who have created the oombrella.
A screw thread on the top of the oombrella lets you attach a GoPro to let you shoot your travels with a bit of elevation, use it as a pseudo selfie stick or attach anything else you may so desire.
Oombrella is currently in the middle of a Kickstarter campaign to raise €57,500 (US$65,000) to help bring it to market. Early backers can pre-order the oombrella in one of three colors – white, black and shiny – and in either large or compact size for €59 ($67). For €29 (about $33) you can pre-order the sensing capsule and use it with your favorite umbrella instead. If everything goes as planned, the company expects to ship the oombrella by October of this year, come rain or shine.