You can't always predict a downpour, or (if you're anything like us) remember your umbrella, and as such we've all been soaked while walking around a city. But designer Mikhail Belyaev doesn't think that forgetting to check the weather forecast before heading out should result in you getting wet. That's why he created Lampbrella, a lamp post with its own rain-sensing umbrella.
The Lampbrella concept sees a standard-looking street lamp fitted with an umbrella canopy and a built-in electric motor which can open or close the umbrella on demand. Sensors then ensure the umbrella is deployed to offer pedestrians shelter whenever it starts raining.
In addition to the rain sensor, there's also a 360 degree motion sensor on the fiberglass street lamp which detects whether anyone is using the Lampbrella to hide from the rain. After three minutes of not being used the canopy is closed.
The designer says he came up with the idea after watching people get wet on streets in Russia. "Once, I was driving on a central Saint Petersburg street - Nevsky Prospect - and saw the street lamps illuminating people trying to hide from the rain," he told Gizmag. "I thought it would be appropriate to have a canopy built into a streetlamp."
It's envisioned that the sidewalk umbrella would move at a relatively low speed, so as not to pose a safety risk, and would be grounded to protect from possible lightning strike. With a diameter of 2.2m (7ft 2in) each Lampbrella would offer enough shelter for several people and being installed at 2m (6ft 5in) off the ground, it would only be a hazard for the tallest of pedestrians.
While there are currently no plans to take the Lampbrella into production, Belyaev says he recently made a presentation to one Moscow Department, and insists his creation could be installed on any street where a lot of people walk but there are no canopies or large trees where you can hide from the rain.