A team of Chinese designers has invented a new kind of umbrella for the person sick of lugging around their soggy one — the Air Umbrella, which uses a "force field of air" to keep you dry.
But the slightly devious invention doesn't just prevent you from getting wet; it also propels the rain into a 3-foot canopy, likely onto unsuspecting passersby.
You'll be the hit of the sidewalk! (Don't quote me on that.)
"If nearby pedestrians do not take [their] umbrella ... they will be affected more or less, but they will get wet in a rainy day if not taking umbrella anyway," creator Chuan Wang said.
The umbrella has been a huge hit on Kickstarter, where as of publication it raised eight times the creators' goal of $10,000, and the fundraiser still has four days left.
On the Kickstarter, Wang wrote that the Air Umbrella was designed with post-graduates from Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, who worked from July 2012 to August 2013 to perfect the prototype.
The device, weighing less than 2 pounds, works with a motor and a fan, and is powered by a lithium battery. The fan creates a cycle of air that flows through the umbrella's tip, deflecting drops and forming a protective layer around the user.
Apparently two people can fit under the umbrella — more if it's not raining heavily.
Though much like a real umbrella, intense wind can render the umbrella useless.
"When the speed of wind reaches certain level, not even the umbrella you are using now is useful and [neither is] the air umbrella," Wang wrote.
And unfortunately, the futuristic umbrella needs to be charged for 30 to 60 minutes for about 15 to 30 minutes of use, depending on the model.
Useful from the house to the subway, but not so much in a downpour. The creators said they hope that, with the money raised, the battery life will be improved by the time the umbrella is released.
If all goes well, production is expected to begin next September, with the new toy delivered by December 2015.
Rachel Zarrell is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Rachel Zarrell at email@example.com.
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