The umbrella is an ancient innovation. The first written record of a collapsible umbrella dates all the way back to 21 AD – it was included as part of a ceremonial carriage for a Chinese emperor.
The umbrella’s design is simple and functional, which is why it has remained relatively unchanged for 2,000 years.
But a research and development team from Nanjing, China may have just taken the next step in umbrella evolution: they created an umbrella that uses air to protect you from the rain.
The Air Umbrella’s designers launched a Kickstarter campaign that has already raised more than 6 times their goal of $10,000.
On the Kickstarter page, the designers describe the umbrella as,
“…a real ‘invisible umbrella,’ which takes advantage of the air flow as shelter from the rain.”
The umbrella contains a lithium battery that powers a small motor at the top of the device. The motor pulls air in from underneath and then shoots it back out, redirecting the rain.
The video below shows the umbrella in action and describes its inner workings in further detail.
While some critics are knocking the umbrella’s weight (the largest version weighs a little under two pounds) and short battery life.
One technology blogger even called the invention, “tech for the sake of tech”, and said that the umbrella is, “everything that’s wrong with Kickstarter gadgets”.
But no matter how fair those critiques might be, the Air Umbrella’s extremely successful Kickstarter campaign is proof that the idea already has plenty of people interested.
I, for one, would love to have an umbrella that didn’t soak my passenger seat every time I got in my car during a downpour.
Learn more about the Air Umbrella on the designers’ Kickstarter page.
Read the original story from RT.