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Posted By Jill Fehrenbacher On May 3, 2006 @ 4:08 am In Green Lighting,Green Products,Interactive Objects,New York City | 2 Comments
Here’s a creative use of technology to make life a bit more cheery. Who wants to have to turn on the TV or go to weather.com to find out the latest forecast, when your umbrella cantell you all you need to know?
Chicago design group Materious  has designed an interactive umbrella  called Forecast  which uses Wifi to get up-to-date weather information, and then glows to alert you when its going to rain. If your umbrella isn’t glowing, no need to worry – but if the handle is pulsing blue, its the umbrella’s way of saying “take me with you, it’s going to be a soggy day”
What I particularly love about this design is the way it anthropomorphisizes an everyday household item, and transforms the banal functionalism of the umbrella into something cute and comforting (along the same lines as the endearing Roomba  vacuum cleaner). Some might cry “technology for lazy people” – but I say keep it coming! If only more of our everyday objects had this sort of charming interactivity, the world would be a better place.
Materious Design  is composed of Chicago design duo Stephanie Munson and Bruce M. Tharp. Their designs will be on display in New York this month, at the eagerly anticipated Haute Green  show in Brooklyn, May 20-23rd.
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 Image: http://inhabitat.com/blog/2006/05/03/wifi-umbrella/
 Materious: http://www.materious.com
 interactive umbrella: http://www.materious.com/projects/forecast.html
 Roomba: http://www.irobot.com/
 Materious Design: http://www.materious.com/
 Haute Green: http://www.hautegreen.com/
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