Davek is a NYC-based accessories company that claims to make the "strongest, most high-quality umbrellas" around. Recently, it took to Kickstarter with an innovative new design called the Davek Alert Umbrella. This $79 umbrella (about £50 or AU$105 at the current exchange rate) isn't like standard rain shields.
In addition to its above-average strength claims -- it has a zinc alloy handle and an industrial-grade aluminum and fiberglass frame -- the Davek Alert Umbrella is outfitted with a CR2032 coin battery, a motion sensor and Bluetooth 4.0 tech. It also has a related Android and iOS app. Why, you ask?
Davek knows that we all occasionally forget things at restaurants, in movie theaters, cabs and so on. With this new concept, you're supposed to receive an alert whenever you get more than 30 feet away from your umbrella. But there's a caveat.
You actually have to grab the motion-sensor-equipped umbrella for its alert feature to "wake up" -- only then will it be able to send you alerts throughout the day. So basically, it does nothing for those of you who regularly forget to pack your umbrellas when you're heading out in the morning. These sleep/awake modes do save you from getting pinged every single time you and your umbrella are separated by more than 30 feet, though.
If the alert feature gets to be too much, you have the option to manually pause it for up to 24 hours or to turn it off completely. But, if you turn it off, you will have to remember to switch it back on the next time you have your umbrella in tow. To me, that seems roughly comparable to remembering to grab your umbrella in the first place.
As far as the smart setup goes, Davek says it's as easy as downloading the app and holding the umbrella next to your phone for a minute. In addition to the proximity alerts, the app also provides weather information so you can find out if it's an umbrella or non-umbrella day.
The umbrella's smart tech can supposedly work for a couple of years on one coin battery, too. I'm a little skeptical about the overall utility of the Alert Umbrella, but there must be some interest since smart umbrellas aren't an entirely new product category.
There are 31 days left on Davek's Alert Umbrella campaign, but it is already about halfway to its $50,000 goal (roughly £33,500, AU$66,000). If fully funded by April 12, Davek plans to start shipping its Alert Umbrellas to backers in September.