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Invisible umbrella deflects rain with just a force field of air

With autumn in full swing, those of us worried about the inevitable wet weather may be interested in a completely new type of umbrella being developed in China.

The Air Umbrella deflects rain with a cushion of air fired out of a central cylinder, meaning you no longer have to worry about where to put your soaking wet umbrella while it dries.

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By using a blast of air instead of a conventional umbrella, users can see what is in front of them more easily and no longer have to worry about poking someone's eye out, although you are more likely to blast them in the face with a gust of air.

Currently, the designers claim that the Air Umbrella is powerful enough to protect two people, but if the rain is not particularly strong it could cover even more.

There are three versions of the Air Umbrella in the works, the first of which is aimed at the female market, and is 30cm long, 500g in weight and has a 15-minute battery life. The male version will be 50cm, weigh 800g and last 30 minutes. There will also be a more universal version that can extend in length from 50cm to 80cm.

The device will use lithium-ion batteries and while unconfirmed, it would make sense for them to be interchangeable to avoid you getting caught without charge in the middle of a downpour.

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The Air Umbrella launched its Kickstarter campaign late last month and has already surpassed its $10,000 (£6,280) target. The device can be pre-ordered for $108 here.