It isn’t like that this has not been done before, it has definitely been done before; people have tried reinventing an umbrella – like the solar-powered Booster Brolly, the windproof Rain-shader and the lopsided Rain Shield, just to name a few. But these Chinese designers have tried out a unique approach. They have designed an umbrella that uses a “forcefield” of air to keep you dry by pushing the water away.
This idea is not unique either – using air pressure to shield users from the rain. A group of designers tried implementing the concept back in 2010, but it never made it to the market. The motor and the fan on the Air Umbrella is powered by a lithium battery and a cycle of air flow is created through the tip that deflects the droplets and protects the user. According to the designers, the current design provides shelter for two people, and if it is not raining that heavily, more people could be squeezed in the shelter.
Currently, there are three models of the product being developed, with a look similar to that of a detached shower head. One is for female customers, measuring 30cm (1ft) and weighing 500g (1.1 lb.), providing a battery life of 15 minutes. The second one is 50 cm (1.64 ft.) long, weighing 800 g (1.76 lb.) and provides a 30 minute battery life. The last one can be extended, from 50 cm (1.64 ft.) to 80 cm (2.62 ft.) and weighs 850 g (1.87 lb.), also providing the user a 30 minute battery life.
The Kickstarter target is to raise US $10,000 for the project Air Umbrella and the inventors seem to be successful in achieving that. US $12,000 have already been pledged within the first 10 days of the campaign. Early bird pledges are already taken, with $108 for the minimum pledge for the shorter “female” version of the umbrella. Deliveries will start by December 2015 if all goes as planned.