Remember the futuristic „glowing“ umbrellas from BLADE RUNNER? Future’s here, kiddo! It’s not on their website (yet), but according to the ad below they can be bought here.
Unfortunately, the umbrella STILL isn’t shown or listed on the above mentioned website, but as my readers began to suggest that this ad may be a fake I hunted down another address where YES you CAN order it directly, thanks to the guys at ThinkGeek.com. Here’s the link, and it costs 25$.
Meanwhile, I have found even weirder futuristic umbrella concepts – stuff that the makers of Blade Runner could never even have imagined …
(There’s also a variant to this theme: The Starlight Umbrella uses optic fibres to simulate a glimmering starfield above your head – with changing lights!)
Take the RFID umbrella, for instance. What’s that? Basically, it’s a „free to use“ umbrella you can just take away and use in case you need it. The RFID chip will monitor your movement (and make sure you don’t steal the umbrella). The Corp that came up with this idea is named „Dutch Umbrella“, and apparently it was a barkeeper who had the original idea. The tech is there and the umbrella seems to be in use already. Click here for a German article from the Stern magazine.
Satellite Link Umbrella
But wait! There’s more! Americans AND Japanese engineers bot had the idea to connect an umbrella with a weather forecasting service. While the American umbrella will display weather warnings and such by use of a small LED display, the Japanese umbrella uses the umbrella surface itself as a large projection surface, transforming the umbrella’s underside into a large computer monitor you can also use as a GPS screen or for video conference or whatever.
The main advantage of the US version is that it can already be ordered at – guess where – ThinkGeek.com. Here’s the direct link.
Here’s the website of the JAPANESE manufacturer, and here is an (older) video of the umbrella’s prototype test:
In case the video won’t play, try this link.