Vodafone Booster Brolly charges your phone, keeps hair dry

Vodafone's Booster Brolly recharges your phone and boosts your signal, even in darkest Festivalshire, and all while keeping your hair dry.

It's not just demob-happy post-exam-crazed teenagers who use all their energy on the first day of a music festival and spend the rest of the weekend a burnt-out husk.

Smart phones also run out of juice all too quickly, and when you're standing in a field in Emmerdaleshire watching Ed Sheeran, opportunities to recharge are few and far between -- and it's probably raining, to boot. Fortunately, the Vodafone Booster Brolly has all your problems covered.

Except for the bit about Ed Sheeran. No-one can help you with that.

Designed in partnership with University College London, the Booster Brolly is a prototype parasol to keep your phone charged and your hair dry no matter what the British summertime can throw at at you.

The carbon-fibre handle contains an eco-friendly mobile phone charger, powered by a series of 12 lightweight amorphous silicon triple-junction solar cells built into the double-layered canopy bit. Vodafone claims the Brolly will charge a smart phone battery in under three hours, by plugging into a USB port in the handle.

The electrical current generated from the panels also powers a micro antenna, which Vodafone reckons will wirelessly boost your 3G signal even in the depths of rural Festivalshire. Anyone standing under the Booster Brolly gets a signal boost, so you can look up the name of that Skrillex song you heard in the Lloyds Bank Tracker Mortgage Dubstep Tent -- the one that went boopboopboop gug-gug-gug BRRREEEOOOWWWBBVVVMMM bingybongclangalang -- while your mates huddle close and tweet about how amazingg!!11!!! Jessie J was on the Ginsters Cornish Pasties Stage.

There's also a handy LED torch ideal for making your way back from Nicki Minaj on the Corby Trouser Press Urban Stage, picking your way through higgledy-piggledy tents, between treacherous guy-ropes and over comatose teens who've just encountered festival-strength cider for the first time.

The Booster Brolly makes its debut at the Isle of Wight festival on 22 June. Sadly, it's only a prototype at this stage. If your phone does die and you're at Download, Isle of Wight, Global Gathering, Latitude, T in the Park, or Reading or Leeds, you can wander up to the Vodafone charging truck and leave your phone in a charging locker for a bit. It's protected by a high-tech palm-print scanner for security.

Festival pro tip: even if you're not on Vodafone, get a cheap Voda pay as you go SIM, pop it in as you head for the truck, and get a cheeky battery boost that should see you all the way through Foo Fighters headlining the Shell Oil Social Media Outreach Stage.

What do you think of the Booster Brolly? Would you stand under Vodafone's umbrella-ella-ella or is this brolly pure folly? Rain down your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.

About the author

Rich Trenholm is a senior editor at CNET where he covers everything from phones to bionic implants. Based in London since 2007, he has travelled the world seeking out the latest and best consumer technology for your enjoyment.


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