July 9, 2006 If you’ve ever been there, you’ll know the dangers – a crowded city footpath on a wet day during rush hour. Dodging hundreds of probing, rapier-like and potentially eyeball-piercing umbrella tips is not fun and thanks to RKS Design, it’s now avoidable. The Bumpbrella is an inflatable umbrella that utilizes a bicycle pump mechanism in the handle. By pumping, it inflates into an umbrella that one can see through, thereby protecting you against the elements and from getting poked by another umbrella. While we're on the subject of RKS Design, the company web site is worth a look if you're into innovative thought - from measuring cups that would enhance any kitchen through to guitars that are used by the likes of Rickie Lee Jones, Ron Wood and Dave Mason, RKS is an impressive outfit.
Turning the handle backwards deflates the umbrella. The markings on the umbrella are illuminated by three super-bright LEDs which create a unique look. The Bumpbrella uses technology that is readily available...but that has not been used in this way.
But, the concept is ultimately driven from the users needs and perspectives. “We have all been in situations where umbrellas are everywhere and people are running into one another,” says RKS Designs’ Gary Kevorkian. “We thought that there had to be a better way. What if you could run into another umbrella without anyone getting poked, just bumped? This is where the inspiration and innovation came from."
RKS is seeking to license the design. Enquiries here.
Via Spiegelonline Via Designblog Via Yanko Design
About the Author
Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks.
All articles by Mike Hanlon
And what happens when one of them pokey metal umbrella ends pokes into your blown up bumpbrella? Does it become a deflatabrella? Perhaps they could outlaw all the eye and bumpbrella poking metal ones?
What sort of shape does it collapse to? Probably a soggy, squidgy mess which no-one knows what to do with! At least the old-style, eye-pokey umbrellas collapse into a stylish walking-stick sort of thing...
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