Vodafone Booster Brolly prototype unfurled
Posted on 14 Jun 2012 at 10:01, by Gareth Halfacree
Vodafone has announced that it is to trial a prototype device to keep gadget fans dry and happy during festival season: an umbrella with integrated solar power and mobile signal boosting capabilities.
The Vodafone Booster Brolly, designed by Kenneth Tong, is a real multi-function device. At its most basic, it's a bright red Vodafone-branded umbrella, designed to keep festival-goers dry during the inevitable downpours that come with the British outdoor music scene - although Vodafone, somewhat hopefully, points out that it also doubles as a sun shade should the weather improve.
On its surface, however, are multiple solar-panels which harvest even the slightest glimmer of natural or artificial light to keep gadgets ticking over. According to Vodafone, a smartphone connected to the Booster Brolly will fully charge in under three hours.
The truly impressive feature of the Booster Brolly comes in the former part of its name: as well as powering connected mobile gadgets, the solar panels are used to run a 3G mobile signal booster antenna. The result: improved mobile phone coverage, and faster mobile broadband - even in the middle of a field.
The design, created by Kenneth Tong and a team at University College London, weighs just 800g. "We've put in all of this technology", Tong boasted of his team's design, "but it's not heavy, it's not big – and it looks good. In fact, it's a bit of a James Bond umbrella – you can't tell what it does from the outside."
The Vodafone Booster Brolly is to be trialled at the Isle of Wight festival by Vodafone VIP members.
would this work inside without the umbrella?
what happens if I have issues inside the building? I'll look stupid with an umbrella by my desk in the office. Are there any solutions for indoor usage out there? I've found cel-fi mobile signal booster but it's quite expensive...
By xxxx7 on 18 Jun 2012
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