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Lighting up a rainy night

Out There | October 11, 2013 | By:

101113 Lumi_Couple_2_scaledLumi is a one-of-a-kind umbrella designed in collaboration with renowned dance company Pilobolus and inspired by their live show “UP: The Umbrella Project.” This limited edition umbrella was created following the original design used as part of that project, a participatory performance developed by the Connecticut-based modern dance company and MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.

The Lumi is an intelligent umbrella that utilizes high-power LEDs, which are capable of producing 100 lumens of multicolored light. At the heart of each Lumi, there is a reprogrammable Atmel microcontroller that controls the brightness of the LEDs. Using a set of tactile buttons, the user can switch any combination of lights on and off, or program more interesting organic patterns limited only by one’s imagination.

A clear, injection-molded polycarbonate shell surrounds and protects the circuit board, switches, and the two AA batteries, which power the Lumi for several hours. The LEDs, located on the handle of the Lumi, project color upward to illuminate the umbrella’s translucent dome.

“UP” is a large-scale, live performance piece that arms untrained participants with umbrellas fabricated with multi-colored LED lights. Each participant spontaneously interacts with the group and, by manipulating the color of his or her own umbrella, creates an ever-changing landscape as they move through the space to create the piece. Each time it has been staged over three hundred umbrella-carrying participants lit up a rainy evening with the unique performance piece.

AmpCast, Cambridge, Mass., is seeking backers on a crowd-funding website.

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