What if you could sit outside in the shade all day without ever having to move your umbrella? That’s the vision ShadeCraft brings to life with Sunflower – the world’s first autonomous robotic shade that tracks the sun. The umbrella is solar-powered – and it can even charge other devices.
Photovoltaic panels keep the Sunflower umbrella moving to shade users. But the umbrella also serves as a portable source of solar power, storing excess energy in batteries able to last for over 72 hours. A USB connection allows users to charge mobile devices while sitting in the shade. The 122 by 84 by 84 inch umbrella can rotate 360 degrees with the help of three electric motors, and can tilt 45 degrees.
Wait, there’s more. The Sunflower is equipped with sensors that track air quality, weather, and wind. If wind speeds get too high, the Sunflower will actually close to escape damage. It also comes with cameras that can be utilized as part of a home security system – they’re able to record a 360 panoramic view for either safety or simply capture a picturesque moment. ShadeCraft’s SmartShade app allows users to access the data, even from a distance. Using the app, they can check out air quality or view the area remotely.
The umbrella is also Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled, so users can connect to their other smart home technology or control the Sunflower from afar. And a microphone and speaker system allow for voice command and artificial intelligence integration – or lets users jam to their favorite music while sitting outside under the shade.
So how much does the Sunflower cost? Around $2,700, according to Bloomberg, which quoted inventor Armen Gharabegian as saying the company could start shipping the product as soon as early 2018.
Images via ShadeCraft