High-Tech Umbrella Keeps You Dry With Invisible Canopy of Air

In design and engineering, a simple rule is repeated often: the fewer moving parts, the better. The Air Umbrella concept from designers Je Sung Park and Woo Jung Kwon takes that rule to heart by removing the only moving parts on the traditional umbrella design.

Rather than a fabric or plastic canopy, the Air Umbrella uses a steady stream of air to keep the user dry. The simple plastic stick is held in the hand like any other umbrella handle. Air is sucked up through the bottom of the handle and expelled through the top so forcefully that it creates a kind of cushion that won’t let raindrops reach the user.

Simple controls on the handle would let the user modify the size of the canopy (single or double) and lengthen or shorten the handle itself. The design is certainly creative and the aesthetic is sophisticated and minimalist; the only question is whether it would work in a real-world setting with heavy rain, sleet or even hail.

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See more in Unbuilt Concepts or under Technology. November, 2012.