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.