Web umbrella Pileus

Even hardcore geeks might have never dreamt of something like this: An umbrella which is connected to the Internet!

This gadget was developed by researchers at Tokyo-based Keio University. The “Pileus” umbrella looks ordinary from the outside but actually is a quite clever piece of hardware.

The umbrella is able to display web sites on the canopy’s underside while walking around. In addition to a mobile projector the Pileus is equipped with a camera, Wi-Fi, GPS and a digital compass.

When you make pictures, the gadget lets you upload them to Flickr within minutes. Tagging is also possible.

pileus umbrella

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(pictures courtesy of Pileus LLC)

Besides Flickr, the Pileus is also meant to work well with Google Earth. If you are lost somewhere, the umbrella’s GPS function and compass come into play. The Pileus can then display your surroundings in 3D via Google Earth and help you find back the way.

The hardware is now in its 3rd generation. What began as an art project turned into serious business. The makers of the Pileus founded an LLC of the same name aiming at commercializing the product as soon as possible.

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Dr. Serkan Toto is a German based in Tokyo. Like us, he is passionate about introducing Japanese IT to the rest of the world. Full-time, Serkan works as an independent web industry consultant for hedge funds, venture capital companies and start-ups worldwide. He is also a writer for mega tech blog network TechCrunch, covering Japan-related technology and web trends. This is Serkan's website. Follow Serkan on Twitter here.

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Serkan Toto

Dr. Serkan Toto is a German based in Tokyo. Like us, he is passionate about introducing Japanese IT to the rest of the world. Full-time, Serkan works as an independent web industry consultant for hedge funds, venture capital companies and start-ups worldwide. He is also a writer for mega tech blog network TechCrunch, covering Japan-related technology and web trends. This is Serkan's website. Follow Serkan on Twitter here.

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