Friday, May 05, 2006

Ubiquitous umbrellas?

We've had smart clothes pegs, intelligent spoons and thinking carpets, so it should come as no surprise that we now have the ubiquitous umbrella (via Engadget & Inhabitat).

CREDIT: Materious
The WiFi Umbrella from Materious

The umbrella gathers real time weather information via built-in WiFi, and then glows to alert you when its going to rain. If your umbrella isn't glowing, then you don't have to take it with you when you leave the house, but if the handle is pulsing blue, the umbrella is telling you that you're probably going to need it...

Like the Flashbag this sort of device represents ubiquitous computing at its best, the computing power is hidden from the user, and the user interface is obvious and tactile, and doesn't require any intervention to understand and react to the changing state of the device. As odd as these sorts of things are today, this is the future of computing and the desktop is dead.


  1. Anonymous5:01 am

    Well, I'm sorry Al, but this particular emperor is completely starkers. What next, singing greetings cards as the future of tecnology?

  2. I'm not arguing that weather sensing umbrellas are the future, I'm arguing that ubiquitous computing, and perhaps augmented reality, are the way forward. Our computing power is going to "spread out" and won't be as concentrated in a single desktop machine anymore. Already most of my life is on remote storage; email, calendars, and data. My desktop machine is just a way into that, and pretty useless without a network connection. My phone has more computing power than the machine I did my PhD on, why do I need a desktop?