Umbrellas are supposed to help keep us dry, but are they really able to do more than just that? Perhaps, as a certain Rolf Hut from Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands has thought up of a plan to transform the regular umbrella into a rain gauge. This particular prototype of his that you can see above will sport a sensor which is capable of detecting raindrops that fall onto the umbrella’s canvas, where Bluetooth connectivity will help the sensors relay such information to a connected smartphone or computer for further analysis.
Dr. Hut hopes that the many thousands of ordinary folk like you and I out there with our brollies will be able to work together as a crowdsource data pool, where researchers will be able to rely on instead of falling back on a dwindling number of scientific gauges.
Dr. Hut shared, “We have radar and satellites, but we’re not measuring rain on the ground as we used to; it’s expensive to maintain the gauges. Therefore, agencies are reducing the number, and that’s a problem for people who do operational water management or do research into hydrology because they don’t have the access to the data they used to.”
This does sound as though it is going to be more practical for us to share our resources instead of relying on computers to search for intelligent lifeform out there via the SETI program.