July 9, 2006 If you’ve ever been there, you’ll know the dangers – a crowded city footpath on a wet day during rush hour. Dodging hundreds of probing, rapier-like and potentially eyeball-piercing umbrella tips is not fun and thanks to RKS Design, it’s now avoidable. The Bumpbrella is an inflatable umbrella that utilizes a bicycle pump mechanism in the handle. By pumping, it inflates into an umbrella that one can see through, thereby protecting you against the elements and from getting poked by another umbrella. While we're on the subject of RKS Design, the company web site is worth a look if you're into innovative thought - from measuring cups that would enhance any kitchen through to guitars that are used by the likes of Rickie Lee Jones, Ron Wood and Dave Mason, RKS is an impressive outfit.

Turning the handle backwards deflates the umbrella. The markings on the umbrella are illuminated by three super-bright LEDs which create a unique look. The Bumpbrella uses technology that is readily available...but that has not been used in this way.

But, the concept is ultimately driven from the users needs and perspectives. “We have all been in situations where umbrellas are everywhere and people are running into one another,” says RKS Designs’ Gary Kevorkian. “We thought that there had to be a better way. What if you could run into another umbrella without anyone getting poked, just bumped? This is where the inspiration and innovation came from."

RKS is seeking to license the design. Enquiries here.

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