Frustrated by cheesy umbrellas crumpled by the wind and rain? Nubrella thinks it has a better umbrella.
Nubrella's invention is a largish bubble-like device that fits over your head and rests on your shoulders. Weighing 2.6 pounds, the hands-free Nubrella promises to never invert from the wind. What's more, the company says it's "stylish, functional and easy to use."
It seems like a good idea and on the basis of functionality looks like it deserves an A assuming it performs as advertised (maybe an ad should feature a mountaineer wearing a Nubrella and arriving at the summit of Everest).
The big question is whether the appearance-minded will wear bubbles around their heads and risk bumping into other in a crowd. To be honest, it looks a little silly not to mention bulky. I wonder if the coverage beyond "head and shoulders" would match that of a large umbrella.
For women who want to keep their hair, makeup and head dry, it becomes a style versus function argument. But in heavy rain, presumably not many people are gawking. For men, I'm not sure anything more than a baseball cap is needed when it's raining.
One won't know until they try one: at $39.99, it's not that expensive. The all clear model is $45. A breathless video (below) narrated by a Brit describes the Nubrella.
Maybe it's time to reinvent the umbrella, which Nubrella claims is about 3,000 years old. Wikipedia has a good history of the umbrella and rundown of its other monikers like parasol, bumbershoot, gamp, brolly and umbrellery.
The Nubrella is the brainchild of Massachusetts inventor Alan Kaufman, who until recently owned several cell phones franchises, but ended up in a dispute with Cingular. He's profiled by Boston Globe blogger Scott Kirsner.
Where Nubrella might work for me is on my tractor plowing snow. Such enclosures to protect the operator from elements usually cost several hundred dollars and Nubrella might be just the thing for that.
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This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com