In an undated handout photo, the Brolly umbrella from Brollytime. Addressing poor umbrella design, the Brolly has a handle with an ergonomic, four-finger grip that frees your thumb to text. (Handout via The New York Times) -- NO SALES; FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY WITH STORY SLUGGED CIR-GEEK-NOTES BY GREGORY SCHMIDT. ALL OTHER USE PROHIBITED. ORG XMIT: XNYT112
UMBRELLA FREES THUMBS FOR TEXTING
Brolly, $20, www.brollytime.com
Umbrellas are decidedly low-tech devices. They really serve only to keep our gadgets and heads dry.
But holding an umbrella usually precludes the use of said gadgets. So Brollytime, a company based in Chicago, has come up with an innovation to change that.
Confronting the timeless issue of the poor umbrella design, the company created Brolly, an umbrella with a handle that has an ergonomic, four-finger grip. It turns out that the handle is perfect for smartphones and cameras because it frees your thumb from holding the umbrella. Now you can avoid that awkward position of tucking an umbrella handle under your chin to take a picture or shoot off a text.
The Brolly, which takes its name from the informal British term for umbrella, is available on the company’s website for $20. It’s compact and easy to fold and store. The handle, which is a combination of plastic and rubber, is strong but comfortable.
Unfortunately the rest of the umbrella is not designed as well as the grip. It looks like it might not last through a gusty storm.
camera ATTACHMENT GETS AN UPgrade
Capture V2 and Pro, $60-$80, www.peakdesignltd.com
The Capture, a device from Peak Design that attaches a camera to any belt or strap, has become a bit smarter. A refined version, called the Capture Pro, is now being shipped to some Kickstarter investors and will be available to the public in September.