A Japanese company is taking drone ownership to the next level with the development of an autonomous umbrella that follows a user’s head.
The Free Parasol uses a camera and artificial intelligence to track and follow a user as they walk down the street. The technology is already in use with some autonomous drones, but Asahi Power Services hopes to adapt it for self-flying umbrellas.
The device can help someone commute hands-free (or while holding a cell phone) and is useful in both rain and sun.
As of now, the umbrella prototypes weigh a hefty 11 pounds and have a flight time of only 20 minutes. The designers are confident that they can reduce the weight to just two pounds, and increase flight time to an hour or more.
However, flight duration will depend on the weather and will be affected by heavy rains and wind.
The Free Parasol is not yet available on the market, but will come at the lofty price of $275.