Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Umbrella

The musical umbrella was created by Berlin-based Alice Zappe and Julia Lager

During this year’s Amsterdam-based Music Hack Day, two intrepid hackers originating from Berlin created a musical umbrella which produces a random series of lo-fi 8-bit tones. The tones are triggered by raindrops striking the outside surface of the umbrella's canopy and the abstract results bring to mind a warped soundtrack for the first generation Nintendo Game Boy.  Read More

The Vodafone Booster Brolly uses solar panels to power your mobile phone and an antenna to...

To really get the most out of the summer you have to head out of the city and into the country. Whether it be for a camping trip or a festival outing, the great outdoors is the best venue for sunnier days. Unfortunately rain can ruin a great day, as can a lack of mobile reception and the inability the charge your mobile phone. Vodafone thinks it has the answer to all three of these problems with the Booster Brolly, a humble umbrella turned all-in-one tool.  Read More

The Unbreakable Umbrella is a peculiar mix of genteel elegance and chilling weaponry

Looking like an unassuming weapon from Oddjob's arsenal, the Unbreakable Umbrella is the weapon of choice for well-heeled bowler-hatted gentlemen cum ninja assassins everywhere. It's also a good buy for anyone who has some cash to splash on a nifty umbrella that not only keeps the rain off but can carve up a watermelon with one well-placed chop.  Read More

The Dualbrella

Recently, we’ve seen a modern take on the umbrella, and one made especially for dogs. Now there’s the Dualbrella – a clever twist on the traditional umbrella that provides ample cover for two and can be held with one hand. It’s also an ideal way to befriend that cute person at the bus stop when there's an unexpected downpour – without having to think of a catchy (and possibly ineffective) pick-up line.  Read More

Pet Umbrella is a dog's best friend

This is pure genius. Lieben, a company based in Japan, has created an umbrella that will keep your dog nice and dry when you walk him on a rainy day. The concept is surprisingly simple. It looks like a regular umbrella, but the canopy is inverted so that when you point it downwards it's actually right-side up. The umbrella is transparent as well so as to not impede the dog's vision.  Read More

The Nubrella wearable umbrella

There are, admittedly, several problems with traditional umbrellas. The area of maximum coverage is occupied by the pole, they have a way of catching the wind and sometimes even popping, those little metal tips of the ribs could poke someone in the eye, they’re not great at protecting you from rain that’s slanting in on an angle and one of your hands is always occupied with holding the handle. These issues are all squared addressed by the Nubrella, an umbrella that you wear like a big ol’ space helmet. It’s a good thing that it allows both your hands to be free, as you’ll need them to wave to all the gawking onlookers.  Read More

The Blunt Umbrella boasts improved strength, durability, stability and is safer than tradi...

Umbrellas have been around for thousands of years but, aside from the introduction of the collapsible umbrella in 1935, their design has remained largely unchanged - despite the well known design flaws that see them flip inside out in strong winds or threaten to take out an eye with their pointy rib tips. It was this threat to his eyeballs as he negotiated busy London streets in wet weather that set 1.9 m tall New Zealand designer Greig Brebner on a mission to design a better umbrella – a goal he believes he has achieved with the Blunt Umbrella.  Read More

The Powerbrella does the work of two: it provides shade and solar-generated power

A retractable alfresco umbrella that converts sunlight into electricity to charge laptops, mobile phones, iPods or any other portable device that might be used relaxing or working outdoors is in development following a partnership between Skyshades, a supplier of shade structures, and Konarka Technologies, the developer of Power Plastic.  Read More

Beach Pockets umbrella

We've encountered solutions to the problem of runaway sun umbrellas before, but there's a practical simplicity about this one. Beach Pockets from Seebreeze is a simple way to secure your umbrella by using sand on the beach to weight it down and prevent it from blowing away.  Read More

Sandgrabber solves age old problem of the runaway beach umbrella

August 5, 2007 Several factors can detract from a relaxing day at the beach – sunburn, bugs, and sudden gusts of wind taking your umbrella away. But while sunscreen and bug repellent are useful against the former two irritations, they form a less than effective protection against wind guided umbrella missiles. A solution to this problem is offered byThe Original Sandgrabber, a device designed to secure beach umbrellas very firmly to the ground, making beach holidays safer and eliminating the hassle of playing umbrella chasey.  Read More

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