By Andrew Liszewski
Unless you’re a farmer, meteorologist or umbrella salesperson, I can’t imagine you’re too thrilled when it’s raining outside. But apparently that’s not the case in Japan, where students at Osaka University’s Human Interface Lab have developed the Funbrella which can simulate the feeling of rain, even when the sun is shining.
Using a mechanism not unlike a regular old speaker, the Funbrella can be fed a signal and will reproduce vibrations that feel like raindrops are actually hitting the top surface of the umbrella. The mechanism also works the other way, recording the vibrations created by real raindrops, so the effect can be recreated later. This video goes into a bit more depth about how it works, but you’ll probably want to skip ahead to the 1:40 mark, lest you end up even more confused about the concept.