When was the last time there was a groundbreaking innovation in umbrella design? Exactly. Japanese product design firm H Concept has unveiled their latest: UnBRELLA, an inverted umbrella. Why exactly would you want to invert an umbrella? Well, if you live in a crowded metropolis like Tokyo there are many reasons. When you jump on a crowded train after escaping a downpour your dripping wet umbrella usually brushes up against your bag, your clothes or – even worse – a stranger. But by inverting the design, the wet side of the umbrella faces inward when closed, exposing only the dry side.
And that’s not all: the innovative design makes it easier to open when coming out of a car or other covered area. And when not in use the UNBRELLA stands up on its own.
“It’s been nearly 10 years in the making since I originally conceived the idea,” revealed Hiroshi Kajimoto, the industrial designer who spent roughly a decade improving the umbrella. “I’ve finally created the UnBRELLA – an upside down umbrella truly required upside down thinking.”
The question is, will people be willing to pay for innovation? The new umbrella – slated to go on sale February 2014 – costs 9450 yen (about $95).