I don't know about you, but when I'm walking through a driving rainstorm, trying to keep my umbrella from unfurling in the wind, one thing is always missing: Internet connectivity. Brainy types at Japan's Keio University have addressed that very need with a prototype umbrella that triples as a camera and GPS device, using a projector mounted on the handle to throw images onto the underside of the canopy.
Dubbed the Pileus, this ingenious device connects to Google Maps to display overhead views of your surroundings, and it features a built-in camera that uploads photos to Flickr. For those lonely, entertainment-deprived moments waiting for the bus, the Pileus also is capable of downloading and displaying slide shows from Flickr, and a more advanced prototype even projects Youtube videos.
If you're worried about appearing a bit geeky carrying this baby, don't worry, you'll barely be noticeable next to someone carrying the Light Saber Umbrella. Actually, you can't have one yet anyway. The folks behind the Pileus hope to turn it into a product someday, but for now you'll have to be content viewing the prototype at an exhibit at the San Franciso Arts Commission Gallery.