There's a never-ending debate when it comes to buying umbrellas: Do you spend a lot of money on an expensive one you'll probably end up losing, or do you buy a cheap model that will most certainly break in a light breeze? Davek wants you to go the former route, and is now upgrading its umbrellas with Bluetooth in the hopes that you'll never forget it again.
At $US80 for the first 200 people to back the company's recently-launched Kickstarter campaign, The Davek Alert isn't the kind of cheap disposable umbrella you'll find at a convenience store. It's actually built with quality materials that guarantee it isn't going to collapse or flip inside-out the second the wind starts picking up. And even with the added Bluetooth hardware, the Davek Alert is actually cheaper than most of the standard umbrellas the company sells.
Hidden under a cap on the bottom of the umbrella's handle is where you'll find the actual Bluetooth electronics and a replaceable watch battery that should keep it running for about a year or two, depending on how often you need to carry an umbrella. It's designed to maintain a constant wireless connection to a smartphone with a range of about 30 feet, and when that connection disappears, users will get an alert on their phones reminding them they may have forgotten it behind. It's a simple but effective way to make it easier to justify spending a few more bucks on a nice umbrella.
The company is trying to raise a modest $US50,000 on Kickstarter before it officially puts the Davek Alert umbrella into production, but it's been making umbrellas for years so there's not much risk involved if you want to donate to its cause. The Bluetooth hardware is certainly new, as is the development of an accompanying iOS and Android app, but neither will be breaking new ground when it comes to that tried-and-true technology.
The only catch is that you'll have to wait until September for delivery if Davek's Kickstarter is a success, and who knows how many cheap disposable umbrellas you'll use and toss between now and then. [Kickstarter - Davek Alert Umbrella]