Hands free umbrella with name of space prostitute is inventor's $400k dream


Monica Hesse of the Washington Post has written a weird little piece about the Nubrella, an over-the-shoulders plastic dome which is marketing itself as the Umbrella 2.0, despite the fact that it features a five-step opening process and you need to put on a harness to keep it on. It's being described by its creator — who claims he's invested $400,000 into the Nubrella's creation — as the perfect umbrella for the on-the-go cell phone jockey who must always be charging down the street, thumbs a T9 blur as he texts, no matter what the weather. This prompts Monica to inexplicably note that...

Think of the 21st-century possibilities [of the Nubrella]. No more one-handed texting. No more rummaging for the ringing PDA while trying to keep the groceries off of wet pavement. Chatting, waving, toting, umbrella-holding: four tasks that were never before simultaneously possible.

The whole article's clearly a spoon-fed adverstory with some quirky umbrella history thrown in, but that's okay. The tone's hysterical: "Oh, sure, you might think the umbrella's pretty much perfect, but if you're so smart, why don't you tell me something, champ? Ever tried juggling while holding an umbrella? What about taking your contacts out, or defribillating a newborn, or walking on your hands? Who thinks the umbrella's perfect now, Mr. Weisenheimer? You need a Nubrella!" It's like declaring the shopping bag a failed accessory because it can't hover, open up into a dimensional wormhole or travel back in time.

If you would, for any reason, like a Nubrella, though, it's not too dear at $49.95. Think of all the antediluvian pedestrians you'll be able to stupefy into quadruple heart attacks, waving and using an umbrella at the same time like some sort of 39th Century Moon Man.

Need to text in the rain? They've got it covered. [Washington Post]

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  1. “Space Prostitute” sounds like a great name for a funny, shitty flash game.

  2. Fact 1 – Car windshields are made of a clear material.

    Fact 2 – Car windshields have wipers, to keep water that collects on them from obscuring your vision.

    Now that you’re in possession of these two facts, I want you to do something that the inventor of the Nubrella doesn’t appear to have done; think about the impact they might have on your decision to use a clear plastic bubble as an umbrella.

    And I really can’t see any way this thing doesn’t get fogged up after five or ten minutes of walking around in it. I get the feeling that if you’ve read this article, you’ve got a pretty good idea what $400,000 worth of FAIL looks like.

  3. I for one am tired of having my umbrella whipped out of my hand by a gust of wind. I’d much rather strap the thing to my head so can get knocked to the ground rather than just my umbrella…

  4. I didn’t read this as an adverstory… I read this as a tongue in cheek, high-on-the-irony piece. It really, *really* seemed like it was making fun of it.

  5. Add a defrost button and the ability to teleport me halfway across the world with a single thought and I’m sold on this thing!

  6. This would be great to wear in the shower when, you know, you really didn’t want to have one in the first place.

  7. Don’t you see guys? You don’t need to be able to see, you just need to be dry. It’s not like the ‘cell phone jockey who must always be charging down the street, thumbs a T9 blur as he texts’ is ever looking where he’s going -anyway-.

  8. I am practically convinced that much like the yo-yo, the umbrella was first developed as a weapon. Why else would it have so many needle like points with which to remove an eye? All one need do is walk down a congested city street and they will have rendered the majority of it’s altitudinous inhabitants visionless.

    The umbrella really isn’t a useful tool in protecting oneself from imminent absorption of cloud juice so much as a multi purpose military aid. You can use it when it’s closed to stab people with tetanus infused ball bearings KGB style, you can use the hooked handle to sweep the legs out from under people and if that fails you can always open the thing and hide behind it like the umbrella wielding coward that you are.

    Which brings on to my my main point of contention. The people that actually use umbrellas.
    If you’ve got an umbrella I assume that unlike me you have purchased it with the main intention of keeping yourself dry rather than the unlikely yet more entertaining possibility that you will use it to viciously mutilate someone.
    That being the case, why are you walking under an awning with it fully open? An awning that was specifically designed to keep the rain off people with enough sense not to go out and buy an umbrella.
    There is a latch on the thing for a reason and that is so you can close it when you’re not using it to remove an eye.

    I can also think of more enjoyable ways to turn myself into a lightning conductor, the main one being to paint my knob gold and lay on my back. The fact that were I to use a normal umbrella I’d basically become a mobile lightning rod does not inspire the least bit of confidence.

    So between the actual device and the people that use it, the whole concept is a write off. It baffles me why people go to trouble of using it, when you have to carry it around everywhere, thus taking up a valuable hand that could be used to smack people in front of you for walking too slowly.

    Which is why this umbrella is such an awesome idea.

    But having said that, I’ll quite happily stick to my raincoat and gumboots, safe in the knowledge that if I do get stuck by lightning at least I’ll be well insulated and won’t have taken an eye out on the way.

  9. If it had the clear plastic all the way round I might consider it for use with my electric-assist bike. With the rear and a large chunk of the peripheral vision cut off its no good. I bet the $10 knock offs that come out next year will be 360° clear vinyl and useful for cyclists.

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