Umbrellas can be a little unwieldy at times. They’ve the annoying tendency to get sopping wet, and getting an open one through anything short of a loading bay is practically a fool’s errand. Oh, and high winds completely destroy all but the hardiest of umbrellas.
For all its problems, though, the design works – it keeps us more or less dry in the rain. Maybe that’s why the umbrella has changed relatively little since it was invented a few millennia ago. Why mess with a good thing?
Still, the old design is due to evolve, don’t you think?
And it will. At least, assuming the Air Umbrella – a project that recently surfaced on Kickstarter – actually meets with success. It’s the first major design change in the umbrella in over a thousand years, and it couldn’t be cooler for it. See, most umbrellas use a ribbed, fabric-covered dome. The Air Umbrella, fittingly, creates a force-field of air.
Let me repeat that: it basically gives you your own personal force-field. That means that not only do you not have to worry about high wind, damp fabric, or narrow doorways; you also get to feel like you’re some sort of awesome, space-aged superhuman – even if you’re doing something as simple as walking to the store. Okay, maybe that’s taking things a bit far. Still, it’s very, very cool.
The Air Umbrella will come in three sizes. Version A will be 30 centimeters long – for some reason, it’s listed as a ‘women’s’ umbrella. Hoo, boy. Version B, meanwhile, will measure in at 50 centimeters, while version C can scale between 50 and 80 centimeters. Now…here’s the bad news.
The max battery life is 15 minutes for Version A, and 30 for Version B and C. That means that unless you’re only using your umbrella for a short stroll or two, it’s not going to be of much use. A shame, too – it’s an incredibly fascinating product otherwise.
Anyway, if you’re still thinking you want to pick one of these devices up, you can grab version A for $88, Version B for $98, and Version C for $108 as part of the Kickstarter run’s early bird pricing structure. Delivery is set at sometime in December 2015. If you’re excited about this kind of technology, don’t miss our look at 20 of the coolest umbrellas you may ever see.