Oh, you use a stick to hold your parasol? How…quaint.

For centuries, mankind has had to block out the harmful effects of the sun’s rays by holding a parasol…like a bunch of chumps.

For too long, those cumbersome bumbershoots have occupied the valuable real-estate of our hands when they could be doing something far more productive, like playing Rock-Paper-Scissors against themselves and/or drinking.

Now, humanity has harnessed the awesome power of drones and created the most advanced parasol to date: Free Parasol.

That’s “Free” in the sense of freedom. These 150-centimeter (59-inch) wide things are hardly free of charge and are expected to cost 30,000 yen (US$275) a piece. However, each one is equipped with AI software that can detect the top of your head and lock on to it, providing dedicated shade on those hot and sunny days.

The prototype in the video weighs about five kilograms (11 pounds) and can fly for about 20 minutes on a single charge. However, it is planned to bring Free Parasol down to one kilo (two pounds) and give it a flight time of one hour by the time it hits the market in 2019.

In addition to freeing up your hands so you can play the bagpipes or crash cymbals as you walk about, the drone propellers’ downwash also provides a soothing breeze on those especially muggy days. Those same propellers will be caged to prevent injury in the seemingly likely event that they bump into people’s heads.

As the technology improves, the makers at Asahi Power Service hope to waterproof them so they can be used as umbrellas in the rain as well. They probably have to make those engines pretty strong to compensate for the winds, or else we’re going to be seeing a lot of lost Free Parasols aimlessly wandering the streets of Japan in the future.

There’s also the issue of laws and regulations regarding drones that make it impossible for someone to just pick one up and use it as a parasol in public all willy-nilly. Asahi is aware of this and is only expecting to sell Free Parasols in private areas like golf courses for the time being.

Chances are that things won’t change anytime soon, so it’ll probably be a while yet before we see road-worthy Free Parasols. In the meantime, may we recommend our own, hands-free umbrella and smartphone holder? We think you’ll like it.

Either way you do it, it’s time for humanity to evolve from the tyranny of parasol and umbrella handles so that we may be ready to applaud at all times – rain or shine – when something impressive suddenly happens. Even bonobos can do that.

Source: Asahi Power ServicesNewswitch, Hachima Kiko
Images, video: YouTube/hiti0253