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article imageDesigners create 'invisible umbrella' that deflects rain with air

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By Leigh Goessl     Nov 30, 2012 in Science
Two developers from South Korea have developed a unique style of umbrella. Their newly designed umbrella has no canopy at all, as it deflects rain with air.
Two designers, Je Sung Park and Woo Jung Kwon, of South Korea, have developed an umbrella that appears easy to balance as it only consists of the handle, reports Mashable.
The new product is called the "Air Umbrella". How it works is that instead of the user staying under a traditional canopy shield to stay dry, the handle/pole style umbrella shoots out air to deflect the water away from the person carrying it. According to YankoDesign, the user can control the length of the handle and the size of the air canopy.
The "Air Umbrella" is designed to also be able to be adjusted to the strength of a storm.
Geek.com explains:
The design of the Air Umbrella calls for air to be sucked through the bottom, then shot out of the top in a pattern that mimics the standard canopy. Power and canopy size controls reside toward the bottom of the shaft, providing users with the ability to strengthen the force of the air and widen the canopy in order to adjust for heavier rains. Not only would these features protect against storms when a standard umbrella normally may not, but the air curtain has a better chance to survive strong winds than a flimsy nylon covering.
A potential flaw noted was the battery life and some question whether the power would drain too quickly in a long walk or strong storm; it is not clear if/how the designers have addressed this issue. Additionally, where does the water go, does it "rain" on others on a crowded sidewalk?
It appears others are not satisfied with traditional umbrellas, as recently a duo from Taiwan created the "Rain Shield" which totally revamped the conventional umbrella style. This won an international prize given for innovative product designs.
What do you think of "Air Umbrella"? Hit or miss?
Screen shot from YankoDesign that explains how the Air Umbrella works
Screen shot from YankoDesign that explains how the Air Umbrella works
Air Umbrella
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