Google Earth Umbrella

Google Earth Umbrella - PileusOk, this is just too weird. Some students in Human-Computer Interaction Design at Keio University, Media Design, Okude Lab in Japan, have developed an umbrella for viewing Google Earth. The umbrella has a GPS, computer, WIFI, and a projector built into the handle. You can walk around places and view your location on a portable “dome” with Google Earth. And, you’re protected from the rain at the same time! (No word on whether the devices are water proof or shock proof.) You can also use the umbrella to show photo slideshows with a simple twist of the handle. Visit the web site about the Pileus Umbrella.
My hat is off to these guys for coming up with an innovative experiment with technology. It may not be practical, but its still an interesting idea to explore – especially the use of a portable dome in the form of an inexpensive every day object. And, of course, since they used Google Earth, they get extra points!
Check out the video showing the umbrella in use showing a photo slide show:

via Very Spatial.

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. No offense to its creators – as it’s a rather interesting application. But I can’t help but be the first to comment, “Hmmm. I can see this being market-ready in and around Seattle.”

  2. By the way – this also made me think of a project that I ran across a while back, but haven’t been able to locate it since.
    Someone had used a pair of glasses with a coated inner lense that transmits screen data to the viewer via a belt-pack mini-computer assembly. In other words – an aesthetically, or cosmetic, solution to virtualization that’s more practical.
    The system was similar, except only for use with an application like Google Earth, with GPS. I believe at the time I had seen this project, they were only so far as to synch the map visually in the 3D space – but didn’t have an interface for commanding the application to get directions, etc – which I believe was the next logical step.
    It’d be interesting if anyone could locate that project again – or see if anyone else is doing something similar at this time.
    Oh, and the Optimus Keyboard will be released in a few days if you wish to track that and see how it performs with Google Earth:

  3. This looks like a wonderful invention, but won’t you look a bit silly carrying an umbrella if it isn’t raining? Also, do they correct the image for the curvature of the screen or is it just distorted?

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