As per Merriam Webster, the word “umbrella” is derived from umbra, which means shadow or shade. While umbrellas are primarily associated with rain, they were originally designed to provide shade from the sun.
With time, umbrellas are becoming advanced and better equipped with technology. From improved designs that cover more of your body to weather-predicting umbrellas and even invisible air canopies, all serve to protect you from rain more efficiently.
No one knows exactly when, but several millennia ago, a genius came up with the idea of attaching a stick to a canopy to protect them from the scorching sun during summer and keep them from getting soaked during rain.
Seeing development over thousands of years, we now have the standard foldable umbrella. But there is more to come. Several developments are in progress, and many prototypes have been made to get an idea of what umbrellas will look like in the future.
Let us look at some of the most interesting umbrella designs that we might be holding in the near future.
Pileus – A Futuristic Umbrella that Surfs the Web
Takashi Matsumoto and Sho Hashimoto noticed that the inner layer of an umbrella had a stark resemblance to a projector screen. The duo equipped the umbrella with a smart device and a mini projector to display the web in the canopy.
You can connect the Pileus to the internet and make walking in the rain an enjoyable experience. The umbrella is equipped with a large screen in the canopy, a compass, camera, and a motion sensor. For now, the umbrella performs two major functions: it plays slideshows and helps you navigate with 3D maps.
As it develops, we expect it to be equipped with more software and technology. Soon, you will be able to watch Netflix on the go, run through your social media, and, if you need the latest sport or weather updates, the Pileus will keep you updated on the go, keeping you and your smart devices from getting soaked.
Light Up Your Way With Light Drops
With thick clouds, visibility can go down due to low light. But you can make yourself standout in lowlight conditions with Light Drops, an umbrella that lights up as the raindrops fall on it. This umbrella is coated with Polyvinylidene Fluoride, which innovatively converts the kinetic energy in the raindrops to produce minuscule levels of electricity, according to a research paper published on ACS Publications. This electricity powers tiny LED lights located in the umbrella to give it a bright glow.
You might have come across LED lighting umbrellas with battery packs and a switch. But to use rain to generate electricity (even a tiny amount) is pure genius.
Stay Dry during Windy Rain With Superbrella
No matter how big of an umbrella you hold, chances are you will get wet during a spell of rain accompanied by wind. With windy weather, rain seems to come at you from all directions. Nothing can keep you more protected than Superbrella, which is an umbrella that covers you from the top and all sides.
The canopy is attached to a single stick that you hold like a traditional umbrella. But with the all-around covering, you and your fancy clothing remain protected, even if you are walking through a storm.
Flaunt Your Colors With the Hydro Chromatic Umbrella
When stored in a cool and dry place, the hydro chromatic umbrella looks no different than a traditional one. But bring it into the mild rain, and it begins to show you its real colors, quite literally. As the water falls onto the canopy, the dull black umbrella starts to change colors and lightens up, almost like a rainbow.
A simple umbrella can turn into a fashion statement in wet conditions. It will surely turn heads with its constantly changing color patterns in mild rain. Bring it back in, and it starts to become dull black again as it dries up.
Know the Weather With Ambient Forecasting Umbrella
With the Ambient Forecasting Umbrella, you can never head out without your umbrella on a rainy day or corollary; carry around your umbrella when there is no rain.
The Ambient Forecasting Umbrella has a blue LED light that glows when rain is predicted during the day. The smart umbrella connects to AccuWeatherthrough Wi-Fi, and the handle glows blue whenever there is rain forecasted. According to The Guardian, AccuWeather is one of the most trusted sites for weather prediction. The light pulsates once every second if the forecast says there is a 60% chance of rain. It goes up to 100 pulses per minute when chances are 100%.
Repel Water With Nano-Nuno
If you are tired of wet umbrellas soaking the carpet in your house, the Nano-Nuno needs only a few shakes outside your door, and it becomes as dry as ever. The canopy is coated with a water repellent surface similar to one found on top of a Lotus leaf, which is water and dustproof to absorb maximum sunlight.
The synthetic polyester on the umbrella’s canopy will remain clean for years, allowing you to purchase lighter-colored umbrellas if you want to flaunt stylish looks. The Nano-Nuno makes traditional umbrellas boring and inconvenient.
Play Music on Your Bluetooth Futuristic Umbrella
Isn’t it better to have a theme song playing in the background as you sing in the rain? The Bluetooth Umbrella allows you to connect your smart device to the umbrella for music and much more. The umbrella is equipped with a touchscreen, caller id function, microphone, and a speaker to answer calls without getting your device wet.
The umbrella comes with a rechargeable battery like most other Bluetooth devices you must own. It gives you a free hand while communicating and protects you from the rain.
Shoot Water With Air Using the Air Umbrella
If you hate getting your eyesight obstructed by umbrellas, the Air Umbrella is just for you. It shoots out high-pressure air, making an invisible canopy of air around your head. As the raindrops fall onto this canopy, they get pushed away due to the air pressure.
Although it might seem pretty fancy, techy, and even a little awkward holding a single wand up in the air when going out. You will surely attract a lot of attention with your fancy umbrella and be prepared to answer countless questions when you go out. According to CBS News, you can expect the Air Umbrella to run for up to thirty minutes, which the developers are working on to increase further.
Last Few Words
It will always remain a debate of whether you need advanced technologies on an umbrella or a good old traditional umbrella works just fine. However, with our dependency on gadgets increasing, we feel that futuristic umbrellas will succeed in a market where nearly all customers have become tech-savvy.
Even if there is little utility, don’t you think that the fancy functions on these umbrellas will indeed trigger a lot of our technology-loving senses?