Invisible Umbrella!

air_umbrella_01

How to make money on Kickstarter!

  1. Take a simple, easy to use product.
  2. Make it electric for no earthly reason.
  3. Profit!

Seriously, why would I want this?

Why would I want an “umbrella” made by blowing air around?

The creators offer this explanation, charmingly translated from the original Chinese.
air_umbrella_02

Is it loud?

air_umbrella_05

Another great idea ruined by lousy battery technology

My ordinary umbrella lasts pretty much as long as it needs to. What’s the battery life on these things?

air_umbrella_03

You can expect to get less than thirty minutes from these crazy contraptions.

Of course, when I say “you” can expect thirty minutes of battery life, I’m speaking only to the men in the audience.

air_umbrella_04

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  • Tillennium

    This product doesn’t seem so bad. And it made 10 times the neede money. So why is it a failure? Imagine you go to the car. You do not need to store a wet umbrella in it. Or for short trips. No more wet umbrella to worry about.
    BTW: The Air Umbrella As battery lasts 15 minute. The Air Umbrella Bs and Cs battery last 30. So you made a mistake.

    • Brad

      I don’t think it was posted here for being a failure (it was successfully funded 4 days ago after all), but for the “why would I need this?” aspect of the product and the strange chinese translation.

    • KickFailure

      For the purpose of this site, I define “Failure” as “Makes me laugh”.

      Also, no mistake was made. I clearly say that it lasts “30 minutes”, unless you’ve got the lady’s version which lasts “15 minutes.”

    • Bob101910

      The fail part of it will come in time once people get the product and find out how terrible it is. Read through the FAQ and you’ll see it has fail written all over it. Remember that they plan to charge $200 for one of these umbrellas. My favorite part –

      ” If two persons are more than two shoulders away from each other, they will not affect each other. Also, nearby pedestrians will also take umbrellas if it is raining heavily. In this way, the rain will not be blown to other pedestrians. If nearby pedestrians do not take umbrella and close, they will be affected more or less, but they will get wet in a rainy day if not taking umbrella anyway. ”
      – This assumes that everybody else is shorter than the person using the air umbrella and that people won’t get mad that your are spraying water on them.

  • Brad

    To be honest this isn’t a bad idea. You don’t have to let it dry off or risk having the “hood” of the umbrella turn inside out. The battery life is horrible though.

    I think you should’ve pointed out that the price they’re aiming for (at least from the project page) is around 120 dollars! That’s quite absurd for such a needless product.

    All in all this seems to be a fairly solid project, they clearly know what they’re doing, but the price and battery life are just bizarre. They even have a video showing the thing in action. You can’t tell how loud it is in it, though.

    Personally I would never get one of those, I’m happy with my regular umbrella that has infinite battery life and did not cost me 120 dollars.

    • KickFailure

      There’s also the issue of what it’s like to be standing NEXT to someone who uses this device.

      Depending on how much side-ways velocity it gives the droplets, It might be like using a leaf-blower to blow the leaves to your neighbors lawn.

      • Brad

        I did not think of that. You’re right, this thing protects you from the rain by deflecting it towards the people around you. That’s quite odd.

        I also don’t buy the whole “it won’t be louder than the rain itself” thing. I imagine you’d need a relatively strong current of air to push drops of water to a “safe” distance, and appliances that use air to push things away (hair-dryers, leaf blowers, etc) aren’t known for being very silent. The fact that the video doesn’t actually show you the sound it makes doesn’t help.

      • jay

        YES. As someone who lives in a crowded city, my first thought was, “I would absolutely murder anyone who used that thing near me”

  • TheNate

    Maybe it can be repurposed. Hook it to AC power, make that thing hot = SUPER-STRONG HAIRDRYER!

  • Amy Procrastinating

    Aside from the awful battery life (as a female human, I only get 15 minutes) would this kind of system be much use against heavy downpours? I can’t see this working in situations where a traditional umbrella is already useless (like high winds), so this seems like paying a lot more money for an item which is less useful and has a time limit.

    • Bob101910

      The FAQ says that it becomes useless in the same situations that a traditional umbrella is useless.

      “if the speed of wind reaches and more than six levels, the natural wind will oppress the air flow generated by the air umbrella and therefore greatly decreased the scope of sheltering and affect the effect”

      • TheNate

        So – it offers no advantages over a conventional umbrella except for being invisible, and that’s not much of an advantage.

  • Ted

    This one should be in the list of successes.

    • KickFailure

      In the early days of this blog, I tried keeping a separate category for the successes, but then I decided I didn’t care enough.

      This project is hilarious, whether or not it succeeds.

      (And remember, it’s not a success until people actually GET their magic umbrellas.)

      • Acg

        “(And remember, it’s not a success until people actually GET their magic umbrellas.)”

        Yeah…about that. You might need to do a follow-up on this one, looks like things went suspiciously quiet once these guys got their money.

        • KickFailure

          Eh. We gotta give them at least until their ship date before we draw any conclusions.

          • Birch

            seems it never shipped, but the latest comment from a backer is great – ‘Should the more than likely scenario play out that we will not be receiving our money back, it will certainly be the downfall of Kickstarter.’

          • TheNate

            Months later- still not out, many more angry comments. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1243275397/air-umbrella/posts/1470843

          • apLundell

            I sympathize with the people who lost money, but many of those commenters are just as crazy.

            It doesn’t seem like the air-umbrella people were con artists with larceny in their hearts. They just fucked up and lost all the money.

            That sucks, but sometimes shit happens. These people are losing their minds over a hundred bucks that they can’t possibly get back, because it’s gone.

          • Acg

            “I’m terribly sorry that we have to eventually terminate the project
            because we are unable to break through the issue of product safety for a
            long time, and decide to refund by the end of January 2016. Although we
            strive to doing well in dynamic balance and to improve the product
            security from other aspects, we consider that some damages or accidents
            may cause fatal safety problem, we do not dare to launch such a product
            of safety concerns on the market and to send to consumers. After the
            product is discontinued, we are trying to raise funds and we will refund
            the money to friends who support us by the end of January 2016. I feel
            really bad about this!”

            …tried to make an umbrella, ended up with a…death machine? (I’m going to guess this involved the explosion of that 15-30 minute battery)

            This is from the comment page, but only backers can see the actual last update post (apparently they’re trying to get funding in order to repay their backers by the end of this month, though they’ve gone quiet about that yet again)

          • KickFailure

            HAHAHA! This is great.

            I’d love to know what the safety issue is. (My guess : Hair being sucked into the intakes.)

  • Lockdown

    I saw a prototype of the Female version. It had to be plugged into the wall and didn’t work in the rain, but the test users seemed enthusiastic about it.

  • Sav

    I wonder if it comes with a warning that you may get your face pushed through the back of your head by the rest of humanity as you bimble merrily down the street jet-blasting rain sideways.