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— Good Thinking

Air umbrella produces a "force field" of air to keep you dry

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. Read More

Dome of broken umbrellas takes to New York river

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. Read More
— Outdoors

Windproof Rainshader claims to reinvent the umbrella

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. Read More

Get a grip in the wind with the GRIP2 Umbrella

The basic umbrella design is one that has stood the test of time. And why not, it’s simple and it keeps you dry. But once the wind picks up, the limitations of the design quickly become apparent. Fighting to keep the canopy facing into the wind to prevent it turning inside out by gripping the shaft as high up as possible is the standard approach, but keeping a firm hold on the thin shaft can be a pain. That’s why Dan O’Donnell invented the sliding handle-equipped GRIP2 Umbrella. Read More
— Music

Berlin-based hackers create musical umbrella

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
— Mobile Technology

Booster Brolly: The solar-powered, signal-boosting umbrella

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