Fancy an 'invisible' umbrella that'd keep rain away from just you?

Fancy an 'invisible' umbrella that'd keep rain away from just you?

SINGAPORE - Air Umbrella's Kickstarter page calls it a "real 'invisible umbrella'", and it's likely to be the first of such ideas to be made, since it has met its Kickstarter goal of US$10,000 (S$12,730).

The Air Umbrella, by the project team in Nanjing, China, is a rod-shaped device that "takes advantage of the air flow as shelter from the rain".

Powered by a lithium battery, the device sucks air from intakes and pushes it out in a disc-shape to form a shield for the user taking umbrage underneath.

According to the project team, the space created by the Air Umbrella is about 1m in diameter. This will comfortably shield one person, or two when the rain is not too heavy.

However, the battery life of the device is just 30 minutes, and the project team suggests that the device is "more suitable for the urban citizens or people who has a car".

As Mashable reports, this is not the first example of an air-powered umbrella - referring to Quentin Debaene's AirBlow 2050 project that was nominated for a James Dyson design award - but the Air Umbrella may become the first to be sold, as the project team plans to ship the finished products before the end of next year.

However, Citylab.com pointed out that with the current design, the device will "spits drops all around like a furious camel", likely drenching people standing or walking around the user.

As of 6.15pm on Friday, the project has already received backing to the amount of US$61,688, with still seven days to go, on Kickstarter.com.

sinsh@sph.com.sg

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