Umbrella’s are one of those things that haven’t really improved over time. Sure, someone comes up with a cute new design now and then, but it’s still a tarp over your head, deflecting water elsewhere (probably onto someone else). A new Kickstarter, which has been fully funded since launching over the weekend, takes the tarp off the rods, and uses the power of air to deflect water away from you. If you’d rather look like royalty holding a scepter than a tourist under an umbrella, check this one out.
Okay, so fair warning — I don’t know what to make of this. Is it a Dyson fan on a stick? A Maglite with a blower? Is it, like, both?
The Kickstarter campaign is also all kinds of weird. There is no (convincing) working model shown in the video. We’re not entirely convinced the water displacement at the end isn’t CGI, either. A mock-up is shown in-hand, but that brings us nothing in the way of performance.
I’m picking on them a bit, sure, but this concept is just too weird. The renders also look like something out of MS Paint. I would think they’d be using something like AutoCAD to, you know, engineer stuff.
Still, even though it’s not showing us anything working, and the renders are grossly amateur, the concept is neat. An air intake on the bottom of the top “globe” (or whatever you want to call it) is cycled through the top, creating a blast of air to keep you dry.
The problem, of course, is how well that works the further away you get from the unit itself. As air moves, it wanders and gets weak. The battery lasts about half an hour, too, so you won’t be following any golf galleries at The Open with this guy (also, you know, noise).
In a downpour, this one probably won’t help you much, either. If you’re in a locale when an umbrella is necessary, it’s likely because of heavier rain.
But hey, if you’re interested, you can get in on this for as little as $118. The team says these will retail for $200 or so, so that’s a bargain — maybe?
You’ve got 9 days left if you want one, so jump on it! If you’re wary, I’d safely venture a guess that you’re not alone. This doesn’t look like one of those projects that will live up to its promise.