Home > Design, english, mobile > Moodumbrella – a self em-powered device for well-being

Moodumbrella – a self em-powered device for well-being

During the lectures Fashionable Technology I and II from Sabine Seymour, Andrea Suter and me improved the common usage of an umbrella. In the end we developed a concept of a self em-powered device for people’s well being. Our umbrella using the approaches of light therapy and autonomous power resources.

moodumbrella prototype


moodumbrella detail

moodumbrella detail

moodumbrella in use

moodumbrella in use








We created a prototype for interviews and user testings and we made a survey in Linz during a rainy day. The Austrain people were very sceptical and did not want to be asked about their happiness on rainy days. However, we were able to get some very useful feedback. The video below will show you examples of the feedback mentioned.

In the end we wrote paper about the details of light therapy and discussing mobile energy resources for smart devices.

Download the moodumbrella paper

  1. admin
    June 21st, 2011 at 16:14 | #1

    I found two other interesting power resources:

    Button Battery Generates Power From Vibrations developed by UENO Toshiyuki
    knee brace could charge batteries developed by Simon Fraser University

  2. August 29th, 2011 at 17:44 | #2

    A further nice example of an self em-powered device Piezo-powered Tambourine

    An electric tambourine that is completely powered by the playing of the instrument. Yellow LED lights on the jingles light up when the corresponding piezo is rattled. The harder the tambourine rattles, the greater the voltage generated by the piezoelectric elements and thus the brighter the light. If the tambourine is rattled with enough force, blue and red LED lights on the band also light up. Thus, the player can both hear and see the music generated by this instrument.

  3. admin
    November 30th, 2011 at 14:27 | #3

    Again some development is going on…

    … the TU Chemnitz is working on an approach which is able to print solar panels on paper. For more information check the project homepage

    … The company Seiko and their Automatic watch / Spring drive approach can also give some inspiration for developing a power supply for (electronic) low tech parts.

  4. May 13th, 2012 at 10:03 | #4

    washable Solar Panels – produced by Diffus and Forster Rohner – are also a nice power resource.

  5. May 31st, 2012 at 23:45 | #5

    The great DIY Magazine Make publised two nice tutorials:
    Solar USB Charger
    Solar Joule Bracelet

  6. July 16th, 2012 at 22:07 | #6

    The project Phototropia is a great example of smart materials, which produces energy from the natural environment. Maybe it could also be used for wearable technology projects.

  7. admin
  8. admin
    August 16th, 2012 at 11:08 | #8

    It seems Energy Harvesting (deutsch) is the keyword for mobile energy production…

    by the way I stumbled over a new technology: Spray-on lithium-ion batteries

    – another article and the Swedish research center

  9. November 19th, 2012 at 19:13 | #9

    Again a solar based product MintyBoost and two nice examples of building your own charger system:



  10. March 10th, 2013 at 22:25 | #10
  11. admin
    May 11th, 2013 at 21:35 | #11

    Additionally, Piezo based Energy Harvesting Device from Sparkfun

    Energy Harvester – LTC3588 Breakout

    Furthermore, The Open-source Arduino-based energy harvesting development kit Mosquino looks interesting, too

  12. July 30th, 2013 at 01:31 | #12

    The project InGen – Self-Powered Haptic Feedback Device looks very interesting! InGen is a self-powered wireless rotary input device capable of generating haptic or force feedback without the need for any external power source.

  13. August 15th, 2013 at 16:20 | #13

    Wireless induction charging is used for a new product: The hustle bag! They still need some support, watch out their indiegogo campaign

  14. admin
    December 15th, 2013 at 17:55 | #14

    The start-up company Clicc from Germany produces Solar Charger Modules in pocket friendly sizes. The battery can hold 450-500mAH and loads your iPhone up to 20%. Their product ClicLite could be also interesting for some Arduino projects…?!

  15. July 1st, 2014 at 16:19 | #15

    Another nice project with an umbrella in context of environmental sensing is the Sensing Umbrella created by Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design students Saurabh Datta, Akarsh Sanghi, and Simon Herzog

  16. admin
    September 26th, 2014 at 10:42 | #16

    In relation to energy/power management, the MIT Technology Review published two interesting articles about almost powerless sensors:

    -> A Batteryless Sensor Chip for the Internet of Things

    -> Mobile Gadgets That Connect to Wi-Fi without a Battery

  17. admin
    January 22nd, 2015 at 21:39 | #17

    Another device is close to be published for the US Market. The AMPY device converts kinetic energy in electric energy and stores it in a battery. Afterwards you can charge your mobile phone with the generated electricity.

  18. May 6th, 2015 at 14:41 | #18

    Another wearable power charger through body motion developed by VoidstarLab.

    Tactical Cell – Belt-clip battery to recharge your wearables (like Google Glass)

  19. July 9th, 2015 at 16:17 | #19

    In terms of autonomous infrastructure the crowdfunding campaign Autonomo looks very promising! Autonomo is a matchbox sized, Arduino-compatible, microcontroller board powered by a small solar panel and charges LiPo batteries.

  20. August 20th, 2015 at 15:24 | #20
  21. October 12th, 2015 at 16:42 | #21

    Another nice development in fabric-based thermoelectric (TE) generator, which is able to generate electricity from body heat.

  22. October 14th, 2015 at 14:07 | #22

    Another so called smart umbrella, the oombrella is the first smart and connected umbrella according to WEZZOO.

  23. admin
    February 15th, 2016 at 05:53 | #23

    Another nice Dynamo Harverster from Be on bike can charge your smart phone or similiar devices. You just connect it to your hub dynamo and the rotation of the wheel generates the electricity.

  24. admin
    May 2nd, 2016 at 12:24 | #24

    The Wireless Identification and Sensing Platform (WISP) is able to power up a microcontroller from radio waves. That could be interesting for programming Internet of Things devices with IFTTT like receipes.

  25. admin
    July 13th, 2016 at 13:24 | #25

    Unfortunately, the CampStove by Biolite is not an appropriate device for our umbrella device, but for travelling and other mobile devices it could be an interesting solutions. The CampStove can transform heat from a fire to electric power (kinda Thermoelectric generator). The additional delivered USB adapter can charge smart phones and other USB driven devices.

  26. admin
    July 13th, 2016 at 13:46 | #26

    Some more activities happen related to Solar powered systems.

    The German company Sunzilla developed an open sourced modular Solar Power System for camps, events and other off-grid activities. It is capable to charge many low power devices (e.g. mobile phones) or bigger electronic devices (e.g. a fridge).

    Another approached is implemented by SODAQ. They developed an Arduino compatible microcontroller with the name SODAQ Autonomo, which runs with solar power. This microcontroller is equipped with a various modular set of solar powered system (battery, charger, solar panel , etc.). This device could be very interesting for our moodumbrella project. While the weather is good, the battery of our device could be charged.

    For more static Internet of Things Applications the solar charger kit SunAir Solar Power Controller for Raspberry Pi and Arduino developed by SwitchDocsLabs is interesting, too!

  27. admin
    November 4th, 2016 at 20:46 | #27

    A real nice off Grid Eperiment is the project Fahrrad Disko (2010) by Green Music 25. Some of the party people have to produce the electricity by riding a bike. So if you want to run a party at the countryside, that might your next solution 😉

    Another electricity source for your festival might be The electric hotel. A off-grid trailer equipped with severy electricity generators, like solar panels, hydrocharge generator, a generator bike and so on, helps to charge several mobile phones and other devices.

    To run a little off-grid tiny house can be a challenge. Luckily Angry Ram produced a nice tutorial How to Turn an Old Washer into Useful Hydro Energy. Unfortunetely, this solution is too huge for the moodumbrella, but the idea is really nice.

  28. April 19th, 2017 at 10:34 | #28

    That could be interesting for envergy harvesting with sun, heat and movement

  29. admin
  1. February 8th, 2013 at 02:02 | #1