By David Ponce
This looks like it might be a real product, or a great hoax. Started as a project at Keio University in Spring 2006, the Pileus umbrella happens to have a projector attached to the handle, one which then throws its images up on the umbrella itself, displaying a plethora of information right in front of you. The device is able to: take pictures with an attached camera, upload them to Flickr (presumably through a cellular connection), download a Flickr photostream, display your position on a Google Map (using the also-included GPS chip) and give you a slideshow. You control the interface with a flick of the wrist.
Although it was originally a project, a corporation (Pileus LLC) has been created and the people behind it are now hoping to commercialize the product. Of course, it takes a lot of money to do this, so there are a couple of interesting “Google, Buy Me!” and “Yahoo! Buy Me!” stickers on the site. This means that at the moment, there’s probably only the one working prototype, of which we’re including a fascinating video, after the jump.
Oh, and before we show you the video, we’re aware that this has been making the rounds for a year, but it’s the first time we see a video, and that counts for something, even if it isn’t much.