Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on Your Head? Consider the Air Umbrella

There’s some simple things that just don’t need to go high tech. Duct tape would be one (still useful in its native form on most high tech gadgets in fact), a wine glass might be another, and naturally you’ve got toilet paper (well until they perfect the three sea shells from “Demolition Man” of course).

Seriously, how does that work?

I would have thought that umbrellas might be another, but there’s a couple of inventors named Je Sung Park and Woo Jung Kwon working on a pretty cool idea for an upgrade in the invisible “Air Umbrella”. Essentially it is just a baton like object that takes air from the base of the device and shoots it to the top to create a barrier between the user and the elements that spreads for full coverage. Features allow the user to adjust the air flow to compensate for how heavy a rain (or snow) is present, and the baton itself is retractable for ease of carry.

The more you think about the idea behind the air umbrella, the more you see the advantages. For one thing, if you’ve ever been in a crowded public area with everyone carrying an umbrella, then you know the often comical, but sometimes dangerous, problems it causes which this device could theoretically eliminate. Also the low maintenance design of the air umbrella makes the other worst part of owing a traditional umbrella, lugging it around indoors, irrelevant.

While a really cool idea, it’s not all singing in the rain though when you look at the design, as I still wonder how the device would hold up in strong winds, and about the potential trouble it could cause for passerby hats (or short skirts if directed improperly). Finally much like the dome umbrella, or a Snuggie, this is a look that isn’t meant for everyone despite how practical it may be, as some people will always just feel out of place carrying a giant baton functioning as an invisible umbrella instead of the classic design.

The Penguin, for instance