Umbrellas, lost and broken

Why is the humble umbrella such a conundrum?  Can we not come up with a design that can open, close, fit in a purse, and withstand a certain degree of bluster?

Having spent a day battling New York winds and rains, I am stumped at the imperfections of this essential object.  I propose that we invite James Dyson to take on this design challenge.  Having perfected the vacuum cleaner and the fan and hand dryer, surely he could solve the brolly crisis?

And then, can we develop an app to locate our lost umbrellas?  I quickly scoured the app store and couldn’t find anything.  Presumably, the Dyson umbrella would be engraved with a unique QR code that could be scanned and geo-located.  Right?  And then a stranger would find said umbrella and a service would provide envelopes so we could mail umbrellas back to each other.  Did I just give away my million-dollar idea?

I would also like to invent the tea temperature alarm.  A thermometer that would tell you when your tea is at perfect drinking temperature (adjustable to personal preference) and then you wouldn’t let it go cold.

What else would ease your daily existence?  Can we give up our day jobs and set up a daily design collective to focus on perfecting the little things?





3 responses to “Umbrellas, lost and broken”

  1. FPS says:

    Google Room: finds things like keys.

    I’d certainly be glad of a better umbrella. Once the umbrella finder app exists, though, a whole generation will be born unable to understand the scene in Howards End where the Miss Schlegels walk off with Leonard Bast’s umbrella and everyone talks of lost umbrellas.

  2. LP says:

    I solved the umbrella crisis by moving to LA. However, on a recent trip to NY, I was flabbergasted to exit the apartment where I was staying only to find water falling in mass quantities from the sky. It really was a revelatory moment: I was absolutely stunned, as it had never occurred to me I might need to be prepared for rain. Thank goodness my hosts had an abundance of brollys.

    And: Google Room, eesh. Soon we will have Google brains, perfectly catalogued and with advertising chips embedded. Life will become known as “Googletime” and the afterlife as “postGoogle.” But they’ll probably find a way to infiltrate that space as well.

  3. PB says:

    I want a knob at the back of my neck that rolls my grey and grown out hair back into my head without having to go to the salon. I had a giant Barbie head that did that once and thought it most convenient.

    I also want a whole a bunch of things that already exist but we don’t have: seat warmers in my car, a dishwasher, an ice maker, one remote for all electronics instead of 7 and a pasta measure so I do not always make enough pasta for a family of six when cooking for myself (especially when I feel compelled to finish all pasta in the vicinity). How can I dream up new things when I am consumed with envy? By the way, my vacuum stinks, I want a Dyson!!!!!!