Love the rain, hate getting wet? Enjoy the sound of raindrops landing on the canvas right above you with the Funbrella, a prototype umbrella that simulates the sounds and feelings of rain - even when it's 80 degrees outside.
Created by students from Osaka University’s Human Interface Lab, the odd contraption produces both vibrations and sounds that make you feel like drops of water are landing right above you. For what reason? I haven't the faintest idea.
The Funbrella uses a mechanism similar to old speaker systems, taking signals and converting it into rain-like sensations. A recording facility is also integrated into the set, allowing you to record the vibrations of real raindrops for later recreation. Have friends who enjoy fake rain just like you (I'm sure you'll find each other)? Share the fun and use the onboard communications system to transmit your signals to their Funbrellas (probably Arduino-based, but it doesn't say), so you can experience the "same rain" together.
Aaah, Japan - land of the adorably useless. What will the world do without you? In all seriousness, this sounds like a fun novelty umbrella. In fact, it should prove especially entertaining when fitted to larger patio umbrellas, so your entire crew of desert-dwelling rain-lovers can partake in the experience. Hit the video below if you want to get even more confused!
[via Akihabara News]