In the history of pointless devices, the air umbrella has to be among one of the foremost – and it could soon be a reality. According to Core77, the invisible umbrella concept – which uses forced air to repel falling water – was created by U.K. industrial design student, Quentin DeBaene, and the concept generated plenty of interest when it was introduced last year as an entry for the James Dyson Award. The date initially proposed for building the umbrella was 2050, but a successful Kickstarter campaign doubled its initial target goal of $10,000 – and a ‘research team’ in China claims it could create the umbrella by as early as 2015.
But according to Core77, the prediction sounds a bit premature and dubious: “[B]efore you get too excited, a couple of caveats. One is that the development team’s identity and credentials are murky. While they say “We are a R&D team from China. Most of our members hold Ph.D/Master degree of Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics or Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics,” the only person listed by name on the campaign, a Chuan Wang, has a Facebook profile that does not list a college degree, indicating only that s/he “studied at” Southeast University in Nanjing.” The article continues, “Caveat number two is that the error-riddled presentation is a bit underwhelming. But we’ll let you be the judge.” You can watch the video for yourself here.
According to the Huffington Post UK, the air umbrella uses high-powered jets to emit forced air that repels raindrops away from you before they can hit your body. However the battery that powers the ultra-high-speed fan which repels the air takes up almost the whole body of the umbrella – and is currently only able to power the umbrella for 30 minutes per charge. So don’t expect to use it on any long walks. With an expected retail price of $200, it might make you think twice before dropping any hard-earned money on it.
Images via Air Umbrella Kickstarter Campaign