Today’s invention is my submission to an online contest for ‘designers’. I don’t stand a chance in this, because I’m not spending two days rendering the required images, off fees -but the idea, I think, is sound.
The brief was to design an umbrella for people in crowded spaces.
My approach has the following features.
A funnel-shaped parasol/canopy (in the shape of a water vortex). This is inflatable, using the bicycle pump in the handle. This avoids any sudden expansion of eye-poking spokes. It would be translucent, so that crowd members don’t get submerged in total darkness.
The profile of the funnel presents a low-drag shape to the oncoming wind, so that inversion can’t happen and buffeting about is reduced. This structure is further stabilised by being held up on the bicycle pump, as well as a flexible tube (red).
The tube allows the rainwater to avoid dripping all over your neighbours and instead dribbles out onto the ground (directed to miss everyone’s feet).