What Good Can Come of an Umbrella Drone? We’ll Find Out Next Year.

This week the internet heard that the cheapest GoPro mount on the market is a one-dollar Hot Wheels car. That seems as clear a sign as any that the trend of drone- and camera-fying everyday products is still in its infancy.

Another of the most recent transformations is the Free Parasol, a drone/umbrella combo that at least for this New Yorker elicited a giant groan (umbrellas + packed sidewalks are a mess unto themselves, add in a product that’s sure to slow you down while taking up more space … just please stay to the right of the sidewalk, people!).

Designed by Japanese company Asahi Power Services, the 11-pound drone has a run time of just 20 minutes, so don’t plan on taking it for a casual stroll around the city. And actually, you may not be able to, at least for now, since the use of an autonomous drone is somewhat litigious and dependent on local governments.

One place they might appear, and indeed be useful: golf courses, or other private businesses that operate on their own land (something that might help bypass regulations).

The price is set at $275, and the company is aiming to begin shipping them as soon as next year. 

Hands-free, don’t care.

Image: The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun/YouTube