Picture this, you're suddenly caught in the rain and completely lost. What do you do? You open your Pileus Internet Umbrella and start singing a little Rihanna. That's what. The umbrella is connected to the Internet and has a large screen on the top surface, a built-in camera, a motion sensor, GPS, and a digital compass. It was started as academic research of Human-Computer Interaction Design at Keio University Okude Lab, but it has turned into a business and the students are working on making it ready for the commercial market. Right now the umbrella provides two main functions outside of the usual water protection: a social photo-sharing device that's pretty to look at and 3D map navigation, so you just have to do a little map search and you're back on track.
The umbrella's 3D map navigation is powered by Google Earth and can share a 3D bird view around the user. Users can walk-through a city comparing the 3D views and the real world around them, and the map is always updated by GPS and a digital compass.
To check out more photos of the umbrella and learn more about it, read more
The umbrella's photo function is connected to Flickr, so a user can take photos with a camera on the umbrella, and pictures are uploaded to Flickr in two minutes with context tags via a wireless Internet connection.