Archived entries for design interactive


Here’s a creative use of technology to make life just a little bit more cheery. Who wants to have to turn on the TV or go to to find out the latest forecast, when your umbrella could tell you all you need to know?

Design team Materious has designed an interactive umbrella called Forecast which uses Wifi to get up-to-date weather information, and then glows to alert you when its going to rain. If your umbrella isn’t glowing, no need to worry – but if the handle is pulsing blue, its the umbrella’s way of saying “take me with you, it’s going to be a soggy day”

What I particularly love about this design is the way it anthropomorphisizes an everyday household item, and transforms the banal functionalism of the umbrella into something cute and comforting (along the same lines as the endearing Roomba vacuum cleaner). Some might cry “technology for lazy people” – but I say keep it coming! If only more of our everyday objects had this sort of charming interactivity, the world would be a better place.

Materious Design is composed of Chicago design duo Stephanie Munson and Bruce M. Tharp. Their designs will be on display in New York this month, at the eagerly anticipated Haute Green show in Brooklyn, May 20-23rd.


+ Forecast Umbrella
+ Materious Design

One Pixel Camera

RGBy, by Shinya Matsuyama and Makoto Hirahara, is a cube-shaped lamp that senses color and glows with the sensed color. For example, when you find a nice color at a flower garden or a designer clothes store, you can use RGBy to capture the color to appreciate it. [video]

[RGBy. don’t miss the video]

It’s like a “one-pixel camera” as Kuwakubo puts it. RGBy was recently featured in the recent Digital Stadium show, for which Kuwakubo served as a curator. In his comments, he suggested a possibility of a one-pixel video camera. Sounds very cool.

There is a switch and red, blue, and green LEDs on the bottom surface of the cube. When the switch is pressed, the LEDs emit light sequencially and the device detects the strength of reflected light to determine the color. If put on a multi-colored surface, it avarages the colors.

RGBy will be presented at DAF Tokyo soon.

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