Lampbrella: Water-Activated Umbrella for British Rainy Days
The first part of this concept’s name hints at the location where such an umbrella would be placed: on lampposts.
Mikhail Belyaev, the 27 year-old St Petersburg-based designer of Lampbrella, retells how he came up with the idea: “Once I was driving on a street in St Petersburg and saw the street lamps illuminating people trying to hide from the rain. I thought it would be appropriate to have a canopy built into a streetlamp. When it starts raining, the sensors send a signal to the electric drive, which opens the umbrella at a safe low speed. The umbrella then closes when a 360-degree motion sensor doesn’t ‘see’ any people under the canopy for 2 minutes.”
According to the freelance Russian designer, Lampbrella should measure 7ft 2in in diameter and should be placed at a height of 6ft 5in. Such a large canopy could accommodate 10 to 12 people without any problems. The designer also considers adding a button that would deploy the umbrella, in case it fails to open automatically.
Balyaev claimed that he would “like to see Lampbella installed all over the world – but it is necessary to solve all aspects of its safety first. I think it would be useful almost in every country, but especially in rainy England perhaps – I’d love to see it in London. From the comments I have received, people really like it, I didn’t expect good such reaction.” While England is famous for its massive rainfalls, I think such a device would also be welcomed in Asian countries where the monsoon season is rather wet. On the other hand, people living in countries that have a rain season are prepared for precipitations most of the times, while the ones living in places where rain showers come unexpectedly would be more thankful for having a Lampbrella nearby.
While I’ll admit that the concept is extraordinary, I doubt it will become a reality anytime soon. The Russian designer envisioned fiberglass lampposts, along with a significantly complicated mechanism for the umbrella. This entire ensemble, while very durable, would cost communities a lot of money, especially if the intention is to change each and every lamppost with a Lampbrella. Since I do not think there currently are any fiberglass lampposts out there, implementing this project would mean to replace each existent street lamp with a fiberglass pole.