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Open this umbrella to play your iPod

Your secret dream of running out into pouring showers and singin' in the rain Gene Kelly style may soon become a reality. Two German media arts students have conceived of the iBrella, an umbrella that doubles as an interactive iPod remote.

Users can control their iPod by changing the motion of the umbrella. Opening and closing the umbrella, for example, or simply jabbing it into the air, will pause or play the iPod, while shaking the umbrella vigorously will play a random song. Every iPod control has a corresponding motion; you can just plug your iPod into the bottom of the iBrella, stick it in your pocket and shake and twist away.

Credit: iBrella

The iBrella looks like a typical white umbrella. The iPod plugs into the bottom of its sleek handle and the user isn't burdened by tangled wires or bulky technology. The design and controls are elegant in their simplicity. If the iBrella's inventors found a way to make an iPod's music match the rhythm of the raindrops falling, they would really be onto something.

This giant rain-repelling remote is probably best-suited for residents of the Pacific Northwest; music lovers in Arizona or New Mexico might not find the gadget as useful. The idea is definitely inventive and the product seems cool, but since I have not had a chance to use one, I can't attest to its quality.

The product is the brainchild of Anika Berling and Ole Ciliox. According to Ciliox, the pair created the iBrella as an "experiment" or "show-off device" and does not currently have plans to market the product. The iBrella isn't yet available for purchase, and pricing information hasn't been released, so for now, save this savvy, practical buy for a rainy day. In the meantime, watch a video of the iBrella in action here.