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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 03/20/2008

Meet a Meteorologist: Your New Umbrella

By Jason Samenow

Once in a great while, you may find yourself away from the Capital Weather Gang blog needing to know whether to bring along your umbrella or not. The good news: You can get a consultation with an understudy meteorologist, also known as your Ambient Umbrella.

Here's how it works: The umbrella's handle taps into a wireless network from which it receives forecast information for over 150 U.S. locations. When precipitation is likely for your location in the next 12 hours, a light within the handle blinks quickly. When the light blinks slowly, precipitation chances are low. I'm guessing the handle doesn't blink at all when the forecast is for dry weather - although the product description doesn't specify if that's the case.

The umbrellas have been so popular at Hammacher Schlemmer (HS) that they're currently sold out. However, they're in stock at and priced cheaper at $79.99 vs. $99.99 (at HS).

I think the umbrella is cool and innovative. Personally though, I wouldn't buy the device since I've got radar on my cell phone and it's my job to know the forecast. But for someone who is less in touch with the weather, likes gadgets and/or is less inclined to lose umbrellas than I am, this would be a fun and useful toy.

By Jason Samenow  | March 20, 2008; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Technology  
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