A white Christmas in Osaka is a rare thing and this year was no exception. All week has been back-to-back rainy days – par for the course in this neck of the world. If you happen to live in a similar climate, then these cold and damp days might have you feeling a little bummed out.

To help turn your mood around is a cute little invention by Ugoita. This umbrella has sensors attached that convert the impact of raindrops into tones. However, that’s just one of many unique electronic creations that worked.

The underside of the fabric of the umbrella is fitted with piezoelectric discs that are wired into the handle which contains a speaker. Depending on which section of the umbrella a raindrop hits a different sound is produced.

Sure it’s not without its flaws. The sounds seem kind of atonal and that big ball on top with all the circuitry looks a little clumsy to handle. Still, what it lacks in slick engineering it more than makes up for in charm and cuteness.

Ugoita has other sonic art projects as well, including Famicom cartridges converted into 8-bit electric harmonicas.

He also has a paper weight that illuminates in whatever color it’s resting on.

In addition, he fitted a Famicom system with wheels and rigged the controller to steer it – just because.

His website describes Ugoita as:

“A salaryman who stubbornly tries to create electronic works on the weekend. Anything that somehow worked (ugoita) is introduced on this page.”

Since these are just hobby pieces, it doesn’t look like you can purchase them anywhere. But if you’re interested to see what works next for Ugoita then keep an eye on his website.

Source: Ugoita via Netlab (Japanese)
Video: YouTube – basami sentaku, basami sentaku, maxitter, Vimeo – ugoita