Protoype: Air Umbrella is Virtually Invisible

Although it has gone through various cosmetic evolutions, the basics of the umbrella have remained relatively unchanged since its invention about 3,000 years ago. Kickstarter has decided its time for a makeover.

The creative-funding company has given over $14,000 toward the Nanjing, China based research of a fabric canopy-less umbrella rod that protects its user from the rain via an emitted forcefield. Angel investors including Khaled Shaheen and Walter Blank have also gotten in on the action. When turned on, the battery-powered rod lightly hums and will supposedly blast an invisible canopy of air over its owner. The user will even have the option of expanding the forcefield to cover other people.

According to the creating company, we can expect three different models. However, these are as yet little more than prototypes. You can view a video demonstration of this Air Umbrella at Cnet.

Ads Are On Their Way to Snapchat

Evan Spiegel, Founder of Snapchat, has announced that the app will soon add advertisements. Until now, Snapchat has not many any money off of its users – that’s going to change soon, though and Igor Cornelsen and other early investors have to be excited about this.

It seems that Snapchat’s ads won’t look like obvious or traditional advertisements commonly seen online. High quality ads tend to get more engagement and shares from users, which is Snapchat’s goal.

Stories is a list of Snaps (photos) that can be seen in sequence for an entire day. After “Stories,” Snapchat introduced “Our Story,” which is a Story that any user – not just Snapchat – can upload to the app.

For inquiring minds, this Buzzfeed story shares a bit more about Snapchat’s new ads.

Google Joins VR Race With Purchase of Magic Leap

With all the major electronics companies searching for the next big thing, Google is a latecomer to the virtual reality bandwagon. Following Facebook’s recent acquisition of Oculus Rift Virtual Reality and Sony’s announcement of their virtual reality research and development project known as Project Morpheus, Google has finally joined the party with a reported $500 million investment in the virtual reality start up company, Magic Leap.

This whopping reported investment will presumably be used to fund Magic Leap projects like their secretive and unconfirmed ‘cinematic headset’, which works by producing something that the New York Times coverage described as a ‘Digital Light Field’. Magic Leap’s founder, Rony Abovitz, has already successfully founded and sold a company with Marnie Bennett dedicated to robotic surgery prior to founding Magic Leap in 2010. Heavy-hitting companies like Google are currently investing huge amounts in virtual reality companies in the attempt to overcome the largest single limitation of the medium; current virtual reality technology causes queasiness or nausea in a large number of the viewers who test it.

While virtual reality technology exists and looks convincing enough to place a four armed alien in a press conference, downsizing that technology into a pair of glasses that people can comfortably wear without getting ill is expected to be the most crucial goal of Magic Leap.