Friday, December 12, 2008

Wacky Winter Weather Gadgets

Feeling a bit unprepared for this year's round of winter weather? I thought I'd bring you a special round-up of wacky winter weather gadgets, perfect for preparing for inclimate weather.

We'll kick things off with an umbrella that clearly was *not* created in a region where diehard residents would rather get soaked than be seen walking down the waterfront with a handheld canopy. The Ambient Umbrella glows blue when rain or snow is in the local forecast. No setup or cables required: the golf-sized umbrella picks up weather information from an wireless broadcast. Pick one up for just over a hundred bucks at or learn more at

How do you keep your beer cold when the power goes out? Try a USB-powered Bevearage Chiller from CoolIT. Of course, you'll need to plug this into a laptop with a charged battery, but hey... it's the price to pay for a cold brew, right?

Not so much wacky as practical, but a great weather gadget nonetheless, the Olympus 1050SW is a waterproof-camera with tap-controls. As I demonstrated on KATU-TV's AM Northwest, the camera is perfect for capturing photos of ice-covered landscapes and snow-covered trees. Want to review a photo? Tap the screen. Changing flash settings? Tap on the side. And don't worry about dropping it in a puddle... the camera is waterproof up to 10 foot. [Side note: dropping the camera in a glass of water is a fun party trick!]

Their website reads: "Etre Touchy gloves are a stylish, fun and practical way to keep your hands warm while using your touchscreen phone, portable games system, media player and other electronic gadgets." Ya, so they look silly - but there's a useful aspect to the Touchy gloves. Have you tried to operate your iPhone with knit hand-warmers installed? Of course, I'm still not sure why strategic application of a pair of scissors wouldn't accomplish the same objective.

What winter weather gadgets would you put in the "wacky" category? Add them to the comments and we'll have an update for you soon! In the meantime, stay warm, safe and Happy Holidays!


DaveSchappell said...

You really need a day job ;-)

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