MANUFACTURER: Ambient Devices Inc. www.ambientdevices.com
ESTIMATED PRICE: $144.99
THE DETAILS: Ambient's umbrella tries to remind users to bring it along when rain is likely. Using a chip embedded in the handle, the umbrella monitors radio signals that carry forecasts from AccuWeather. When rain is expected within the next 24 hours, the handle emits light pulses. It glows relative to the chance of rain: very rapidly when there is a 100-percent chance, every second for a 60-percent chance and more slowly if rain is less likely. The umbrella is always on and can receive radio signals indoors. It runs on two AA batteries, which the company says need to be replaced about once a year. It is around 18 inches long when closed and comes with a vented canopy to withstand heavy wind.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Given the steep cost, this is one umbrella you don't want to forget in a restaurant or the backseat of a cab.
The Wall Street Journal