You’ve Never Seen an Umbrella Like This Before, Promise
Categories: Tech

You’ve Never Seen an Umbrella Like This Before, Promise

Sorry, pool boys, no longer do we need you to pop our umbrellas come midday. There’s new technology coming to town and it will be at our beck and call. When a single ray touches our delicate skin, our umbrella will automatically open, without us even having to lift our heads from our lounge chair.

Just in time for summer, here to billow over our heads and protecting your bod from harsh rays is Cumulus, a solar-powered concept umbrella shaped almost exactly like its fluffy namesake.

Thanks to a small solar panel sitting atop the canopy, when the beams start pounding down, fans are activated inside the airy pop-able. They inflate the body of the cloud-shaped parasol for a graceful 20-second bloom until it’s reached its full sun protection potential. And that’s quite a bit of potential really: The umbrella has a diameter of around 6.5 feet.

If you’re worried about what might happen to this precious piece of machinery when the wind comes up, just know that you won’t be chasing it down the beach. Cumulus is aerodynamic, meaning no matter how much that wind blows, it’s staying put. If you’re a fan of Cumulus’s creator, Netherlands Studio Toer, then you’ve come to expect these kinds of innovations from their design team. For those of you who aren’t familiar with them, they’re also the creators of Postable, a table that you can, no joke, put in the mail and send to someone who has been eating on the floor.

But back to the ‘ella, the canvas is crafted out of nylon, making it durable and lightweight. Thanks to a silicone coating, it’s waterproof, too. And speaking of wet weather, if the clouds roll in or if the sun goes down, so will your umbrella. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have total control. If you want to fry while the sun is high in the sky, with a flip of the switch, Cumulus’ll go down, and you can get the crispy, red sunburn of your dreams.

Okay, who’s ready to hit the beach? Well, not so fast. This is a prototype reveal from Milan Design Week 2014, so there’s no ship date and no way to pre-order as of yet. So… on second thought… pool boy, can you come back over here, pleassse?

Know of any cool concepts from Milan Design Week 2014? Tell them to us in the comments below!