The Interactive Umbrella was my first media installation. I designed and realised a prototype version in 2010.
When it is raining the rain is being visualised on the umbrellas surface by 16 built in LED lights. They are controlled by a processing unit getting the information from a microfon. When a raindrop is falling on the umbrellas surface the microfon (which is measuring all the time) recognizes a sound peak. This is the impulse for the processing unit. Per sound peak 1-3 LEDs are switching on. In order to be authentic only 2×1-3 LEDs per second can be controlled.
The umbrella also has a second mode: the “random mode”. Once the umbrella is switched to the random mode all 16 LEDs are shining simultaneously; but in 16 different randomly generated colors. It is no fake-randomness. The color information (RGB 0-255) is determined by the background-noise the microfon is receiving all the time.
Music: Elernd Oye - Ghost Trains. I do not hold any rights of this song. I just used it within the fair use copyright law.