The modern umbrella was invented in China, and now it looks like the umbrella of the future will also come from China. Maybe.
In response to the mangled fabric-and-wire messes that litter streets after every rainstorm, a group of Chinese designers have invented what they think is the obvious next step in the rain-shade game: an air-powered umbrella stick. It's four days away from being funded on Kickstarter, and it's just as absurd as it sounds.
Instead of a complicated series of flimsy poles and folding fabric, the air umbrella uses a complicated battery-operated fan system to blow water away before it lands on you. The blown water then soaks everyone around you, according to the above diagram. You'll be the biggest a-hole on the street, but the important thing is, you'll be a dry a-hole!
There are currently three umbrella designs on offer: a 1.6ft model, a miniature 1ft model for women (because women are miniature?), and a scalable model (pictured above) that can be extended to a length of more than 2.5ft; each has a battery life of about 30 minutes, except the mini model whose battery lasts a paltry 15 minutes.
But who stands in the rain for more than 15 minutes, right? That never happens.
Check out the Kickstarter pitch video below, then head over to the project page and grab an air umbrella for the low, low price of about $120. Or, just keep buying those $5 umbrellas and take your chances with the wind. Your choice.