ShadeCraft Sunflower solar patio umbrella follows the sun at CES 2017

Hate having the sun in your eyes? ShadeCraft's robotic patio umbrella can help with that.

Megan Wollerton Former Senior Writer/Editor
Watch this: Watch this giant robotic arm shield the sun

I love being outside, but direct sunlight can be kind of annoying. Fortunately, Los-Angeles-based robotics startup ShadeCraft has come up with a seriously cool solution -- the Sunflower.

The Sunflower is an autonomous patio umbrella/shade that has a ridiculous amount of tech packed into it, all designed to keep you comfortable no matter the outdoor conditions. ShadeCraft says the Sunflower won't be ready until 2018, but here's a list of its promised smarts:

  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
  • Solar-powered
  • Built-in security camera
  • Integrated lighting
  • Built-in sensors
  • Related SmartShade app for Android and iPhone

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While we've seen all sorts of cool one-off products and ideas expand into bigger trends -- Amazon Echo , anyone? -- we haven't seen anything quite like Sunflower before. It certainly seems like a clever way to manage the sun, but we'll just have to see it for ourselves. We're tracking down Sunflower here at CES for hands-on photos and video, so check back soon.

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All the cool new gadgets at CES 2017

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