Umbrella boosts cell phone signal, charges batteries, protects from rain

Umbrella boosts cell phone signal, charges batteries, protects from rain
The Vodafone Booster Brolly is not your ordinary umbrella. It is a triumph of geek-inspired engineering! The accessory's primary function may be to protect its bearer from rain and the sun's scorching rays, but at the same time, a pair of antennas and a small repeater built inside the carbon fiber handle increase cell phone signal, as long as you are a Vodafone user.

Power is derived from 12 flexible solar cells, which are stitched to the heavy-duty canopy. And if that is not enough, the umbrella comes equipped with a battery and a USB port that can be used to charge a cell phone completely in a few hours. Despite all that additional gadgetry, the entire contraption weighs only 800 grams. Is that cool or what?

Dr Kenneth Tong, who is a lecturer in antennas and microwave technology at University College London, is the one responsible for this invention. Some of his other projects aim to optimize reception according to a cell phone's orientation, thus achieving the best quality call possible. 

The Vodafone Booster Brolly will be shown off on June 22, during the Isle of Wight festival in the U.K. Pricing and availability remain unknown at this time, but we hope to find out more in the near future.

source: Vodafone via Engadget



1. mercorp

Posts: 1045; Member since: Jan 28, 2012

Now i can imagine a carrier ad where people use their smartphones with umbrellas,set to the tune of rihanna's umbrella.

2. RangersK

Posts: 68; Member since: May 15, 2012

Also boosts a chance of being struck by lightning?

5. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

... Faster charging?

7. kanagadeepan

Posts: 1284; Member since: Jan 24, 2012

deadly faster charging....

9. DigitalBoy05

Posts: 279; Member since: Jun 04, 2011

maybe theyll put a rubber handle on it? lol

3. mercorp

Posts: 1045; Member since: Jan 28, 2012

Pray not.

4. destr0y3r

Posts: 33; Member since: Jun 12, 2012

Lol only Android needs them because of the weak signal

6. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

Really? Why would you say that? First of all, it's not Android's fault if the signal is weak, it's the manufacturer of the Android device for either putting a faulty antenna in that should be at fault. Secondly, With all the iPhone users complaining abut dropped calls, and the infamous antenna-gate, you shouldn't be talking. I'm just assuming you're an iPhone user, pardon me if you use WP or Symbian or any other OS. But my first statement still stands.

8. hitman70

Posts: 2; Member since: Jun 14, 2012

Great for a walking golfer. I can keep a good charge while using my gps for golf and also see a better picture on the phone. A lot of walkers use umbrellas on their push carts during the summer to beat the heat. Now they don't have to worry about draining their battery on their phones.

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