http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/335652

New product Rain Shield redesigns the conventional umbrella

Posted Oct 28, 2012 by Leigh Goessl
Tired of the traditional umbrella design? If so, a new product that boasts a total redesign of the conventional umbrella may be soon coming to a store near you.
Rain Shield  a new umbrella design
Rain Shield, a new umbrella design
YouTube
According to Gizmodo, the product, called Rain Shield, is a "radical re-thinking of the umbrella" that addresses the problem of gusty winds on rainy days that gets you wet even if you're using an umbrella.
Instead of a cover, this umbrella acts as a shield, designed to keep users dry, having a cover on top and a side cover as well.
Created by two students in Taiwan, Lin Min-Wei and Liu Li-Hsiang, the Rain Shield is made out of a single curved steel wire, waterproof cloth and a telescopic rod; a unique feature is it has no pointy ends and folds up into an easy-storable small "plate" when closed.
Rain Shield developers say the umbrella folds up into a small disc that can be tucked into a bag or ...
Rain Shield developers say the umbrella folds up into a small disc that can be tucked into a bag or brief case
YouTube
The product is described as being much easier to tote than a traditional umbrella since it can be tucked into a bag or a brief case.
Time points out many different types of umbrellas have emerged over the years, but usually these are variations on size, not the "engineering" behind an umbrella design. In this respect Rain Shield not only changes the way an umbrella looks, but how it works.
One user on YouTube wrote in the promo video's comment section on one potential problem, visibility.
With a side "panel", the user noted that visibility could be obstructed when, for instance, crossing a street. The developer responded saying they are looking at ways to make the side section of the umbrella transparent.
One YouTube user brought up the point of visibility  the developers said they were looking at option...
One YouTube user brought up the point of visibility, the developers said they were looking at options to make this side transparent
YouTube
This designed earned the two students the coveted Red Dot award, which is an international prize given to innovative product designs. Right now there are only a few Rain Shield umbrellas made as the product is still in the "conceptual" stage.
What do you think? Hit or miss if it reaches the consumer market? Would you buy one?