Solar-Powered Umbrella Automatically Inflates When the Sun Shines

A passing cloud can make the sun's rays a little more bearable on a hot summer afternoon. Which is presumably what inspired the Netherlands' Studio Toer to create this cloud-shaped parasol that automatically inflates whenever the sun is shining, providing some much-needed shade without you having to get off your comfy backyard lounger.

Using a solar-panel-powered fan on top, the Cumulus Parasol inflates in less than 20 seconds when exposed to direct sunlight. And at about six-and-a-half feet across, the waterproof nylon cloud provides just enough shade to make lounging in the sun bearable.

Solar-Powered Umbrella Automatically Inflates When the Sun Shines

A manual override switch ensures the umbrella doesn't automatically inflate when you don't need it to, but it's apparently able to shrug off a windy day thanks to an aerodynamic design that prevents it from being blown over.

There's no indication of when or where you'll be able to buy the Cumulus Parasol, because it was just unveiled at Milan Design Week 2014. So in the interim, you'll just need to keep up with the sunscreen—or hire someone to manually open your patio umbrella when needed. [Studio Toer via designboom]