Even the most dedicated bicycle commuter could be forgiven for taking a look at the weather outside every now and then, and deciding to drive the car to work instead. LeafxPro aims to cater for such occasions with what's most easily described as an umbrella for your bike.
There are numerous umbrellas that claim to solve one or more problems of the traditional design. The Rainshader
, for example, is meant to be windproof, while the Sa
bounces back from being blown inside out. The new Kazbrella, meanwhile, is said to eliminate drips and fold away less awkwardly.
There have been several attempts to improve upon the basic umbrella in recent years – the Rain Shield
, which offers shelter from the wind; the Air umbrella
, which uses a fan to stop the rain; and Nubrella
, which is worn like a space helmet. Now, we have the smartphone-connected Kisha.
About four years ago, we took a look at the Nubrella
, a hands-free wearable umbrella that looked like a rain-deflecting space helmet … only somehow bigger and goofier. Well, in those four years, we haven't seen a single person wearing one in public. Sensing a bit of that lack of enthusiasm, Nubrella's designers went back to the drawing board and came up with a new rain-deflecting space helmet design.
Struggling with an umbrella that has blown inside out in the wind is enough to dampen anyone's spirit. A newly-designed umbrella based on origami, however, could make it less of a struggle. The Sa will reportedly "bounce back into shape" should it blow inside out, even in high winds.
An umbrella hastily snatched on the way out the door can easily become another item left behind, as the weather clears up and we continue on our merry, baggage-free way. But what if your brolly had a tracking device built-in, meaning when it is misplaced you can simply whip out your phone and hone in on its whereabouts? High-end umbrella maker Blunt has teamed up with Bluetooth-tracker specialists Tile to produce what it calls the first smart umbrella, looking to make sure you're never caught unprepared again.
People certainly haven't been afraid to try and reinvent the umbrella over the years. There was the solar-powered Booster Brolly
, the windproof Rainshader
and the lopsided Rain Shield
, just to name a few. But now a team of Chinese designers is looking to do away with the awkward metal poles and canopy entirely, relying instead on a "force field" of air to keep you nice and dry.
Take a pleasure cruise up the Harlem River this month and you surely won't miss the 24-ft diameter Harvest Dome 2.0 which floats on the waters near Spuyten Duyvil Creek at the north tip of Manhattan, New York. Built to draw eyes to the city's watercourses, the dome is built from 450 discarded and broken umbrellas support by a floating ring made from 128 2-liter drinks bottles.
Anyone that looks at press releases with any regularity will no doubt have felt the onset of re- fatigue
, induced by the weight of new products which claim to "rethink," "re-imagine" and "redefine" things (but seldom do). So while we're a little dubious of the claim that Rainshader "reinvents" the umbrella – it is still a canopy on a stick, after all – at least there's no denying that there is actual innovation in evidence. Apparently the helmet-shaped Rainshader doesn't turn inside out in the wind, drip on people, or poke them in the eye.
Architecture studio 3Gatti has taken inspiration from colorful parasols carried during Shanghai’s hot summer months to design a new facade for the 2010 Shanghai Expo’s Madrid Pavilion. The new screen for the re-purposed office and retail block will feature steel umbrellas that can be individually opened and closed and used to manage interior light levels.