Meet the umbrella that lets you do more than shield you from the rain, the Pileus:
Pileus is an umbrella connected to the Internet to make walking in rainy days fun. Pileus has a large screen on the top surface, a built-in camera, a motion sensor, GPS, and a digital compass, and it provides two main functions; [sic] A Social Photo-sharing and A 3D Map Navigation.
The “social photo-sharing” part is actually with Flickr, while the “3d map navigation” part is powered by Google Earth. Pileus started out as a research project by Sho Hashimoto and Takashi Matsumoto at Keio University’s Human Computer-Interaction (HCI) Design Lab.
Here’s a short video how you can view photos with (or should I say under?) the Pileus:
You can also catch a live demonstration of the Pileus prototype at the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery from April 20 to June 16. This quirky umbrella has also grabbed attention in Europe and South Africa.
I would never stand under the rain and use my umbrella to surf the web. That aside, it looks like fun in a really geeky, Inspector Gadget slash James Bond way.