Some people just have to be connected to the Internet at all times, but there are occasions when it’s difficult. Sometimes, you need more of a signal than what your smartphone can provide.
If you happen to be walking down the street, and it happens to be raining, and you happen to be in need of a wi-fi signal, then the Purple Rain umbrella can help.
Purple Rain, cleverly named after a Prince song, is said to be, and probably is, the world’s first wi-fi capable umbrella.
That’s right – it’s an umbrella that can connect you to the Internet.
Purple Rain is really just a wi-fi hotspot. As you’re walking down the street, you can discreetly press the button on the wooden handle, and the Purple Rain will automatically scan for hotspots wherever you happen to be.
Once it finds a hotspot, it will connect, and then it will pass that signal on to your smartphone or tablet via a private SSID signal, so no one can tap into your wifi.
The Purple Rain has been designed so that it looks like, and works like, any other normal umbrella. The ribs of the umbrella are part of the antenna, however, which gives Purple Rain additional ability to pull in signals in areas where reception may be weak.
The entire thing is waterproof, as you might expect (and demand) from an umbrella. On days when it isn’t raining, you can always use it as a parasol to protect you from the sun.
Purple Rain also has a USB port in the handle, though I can’t find anything in the company’s press release that explains what, exactly, that USB port might be for.
The Purple Rain umbrella is handmade in the UK and includes a wooden handle, your standard press-stud tab for closing it. The device is 36 inches long and has a 42 inch diameter.
The protective canopy is made from 100% polyester.
Despite the clever name, Purple Rain is available in other colors, though the Website didn’t mention any specifically.
The Purple Rain is designed to be capable of working with just about any wifi enabled device, regardless of operating system or platform. It is, as they say in the business, “vendor-agnostic.”
The umbrella was said to be available for sale starting in late November, though the Website has not yet been updated to indicate whether it is currently available or not. While the official launch date has passed, the Website is still asking you to preregister to be notified when it becomes available for sale.
Initial price was £49.99 or $50, but that was a Black Friday special that was said to be 50% off. No word on current pricing.