Keeping yourself dry could also help scientists prevent urban flooding.

Umbrellas are a tried and tested way to keep yourself dry, but what if you were able to do your part for science every time you went out in the rain? Rolf Hut, a scientist from Delft University of Technology, thinks umbrellas could be used to crowdsource information that would prevent urban flooding, and other weather related disasters.

Hut has already devised a prototype umbrella that can detect raindrops falling on its canvas with nothing more than a simple sensor, and a Bluetooth connection to your phone. As the number of scientific gauges continues to plummet, Hut believes umbrellas could be their replacement.

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