What do Vodafone and Rihanna have in common? That's right, umbrellas. You are smart, aren't you?
Both RiRi and VoFo want you to stand under their umbrellas (ellas, ellas) - one to keep you dry and the other to boost your mobile phone signal (that's Vodafone, in case you weren't sure which is which).
The red network has announced a rather smart innovation called the Booster Brolly that could prove rather nifty during the Great British Summer.
It can provide a boost in signal by using high-gain antennas and a low-power signal repeater placed inside the brolly that latches on to the Vodafone network and then creates a "signal-shower" over the users' heads to boost signal quality.
Of course, if you're at a festival where the rain is a frequent headline act and phone signal quality can often be poor, this could be the ideal solution. It also adds a new angle to the term cloud computing.
But wait, there's more.
It can also charge your phone through a USB port in the handle, that takes its power source from the sun via solar cells knitted into the canopy. A solar-powered umbrella. A sun-powered device that only gets taken out in the rain. Brilliant.
The device was actually developed by a rather clever chap called Kenneth Tong of the University College London who was rather modest about the whole thing.
"We've put in all of this technology 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."
So, if you're heading to the Isle of Weight festival next week you can expect to see the Booster Brolly in action for the first time, although sadly not being wielded by Rihanna as she's not performing at the event. What a shame.
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