While the rain is making an attack on the UK, Chinese designers are coming to the rescue with a force field umbrella.
The Air Umbrella uses a force of air fired out from a central cylinder which creates a virtual layer that deflects rain. The advantage of this high-tech dryness giver is that there isn't a layer to open up and dry afterwards and you won't have to worry about people poking your eyes out with this. Although a blast of air to the face as you pass is likely. The other advantage is it being see-through so you can look ahead even in wind and see where you're going.
At the current stage of development the designers say the Air Umbrella will have enough power to offer protection to two people. But if the rain is weak it could cover even more.
There should be two versions of the Air Umbrella, one for ladies at 30cm long, 500g in weight and with a 15 minute battery life. The second, for men, will be 50cm long, weigh 800g and last 30 minutes. A third, presumably for everyone, will be extendible from 50 to 80cm, weigh 850g and have a 30-minute battery life. They will all use lithium-ion batteries. We'd hope they are interchangeable so you don't get caught out without charge and end up soaked.
At the moment the Air Umbrella is on Kickstarter with a goal of $10,000, which it has already beaten. You can pre-order an Air Umbrella now for $108 as most of the early bird prices have gone.