The Umbrella That Tells You The Weather

Most people can tell you the various uses of the umbrella — it keeps the rain off, pokes sleeping train passengers awake, and can be used as an improvised defensive weapon when tension in the hot dog line reaches boiling point. A true Englishman would never deign to employ their brolly so imprudently, of course, but they might just give it an upgrade by packing in a full weather station.

Please do not message us to complain about the redundancy of a rain sensor on an umbrella.

The build uses the Particle Photon as the brains of the operation, interfacing it with several sensors. There’s a DHT11 to handle temperature and humidity measurement, an Adafruit barometric pressure sensor, along with a custom-built anemometer using a brushed motor with 3D printed wind cups. Finally, a breadboard is turned into a rain detector, based on the same principles as those used in automotive applications.


The Particle Photon uses WiFi to tether to a smartphone, deliver the collected data to the cloud via Adafruit IO. This enables the data to be collated and processed further on a PC. Yes, it’s 2018, and they have the internet on umbrellas now.

As we reach further into the depths of winter, it’s one project that could very much come in handy, and [The Gentlemen Maker] has been kind enough to share the code on If that’s not good enough, perhaps you could use your umbrella as a WiFi antenna. Video after the break.

12 thoughts on “The Umbrella That Tells You The Weather

  1. Finally, a way to know when it is time to open your umbrella – I’ve been struggling with that one for years. Technology will save us all.

    BTW, what’s with with stick-man animation? If it’s a joke, I can’t quite seem to get it…

  2. Clearly a basic design flow here. When one is correctly using an umbrella one rotates the handle back and forth as one ambles through the British rain. Obviously some gyroscope is needed in the handle in order to subtract the rotation from the wind speed.

  3. Bumbershoots are a fabulous design fail all by themselves, even without enhancement (the name is your clue, who would ever give that name to something that actually functions?). Rain is often accompanied by high winds and subsequently shredded umbrellas. You’re all wet unless you’re wearing a proper raincoat, so why even bother with the umbrellas? And of course, the broken umbrellas are relinquished to fly off in the wind, and end up clogging storm drains.

  4. I was just thinging about an umbrella that dissolves slowly when it gets wet.
    If you time it right then the umbrella has just dissolved when it stops raining.
    So you would not have to carry the umrella around when it is not raining anymore.

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