Saturday, 6 August 2011

Dry Solution

Need an umbrella? Buy it from the vending machine

When I was waiting for a friend of mine at the Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station, I came across a vending machine -- that sells umbrellas.

It surprised me and yet at the same time I thought "about time!", an ingenious idea of grabbing an umbrella especially when caught in the rain just by paying HK$68 ($8.70) via your Octopus card.

Called ULA Umbrella, its selling points are as follows:

- Superior water repellence

- Coating by Fornewr-Nano technology

- Typhoon resistance proof (3rd generation)

- Anti hand-cutting patent design

It also weighs 200 grams and has a 180-day warranty.

Perhaps the best part are the various colours available -- vividly described as:

Choose from a carefully chosen palette of colours
Pure black
Green tea
Hami (as in hami melon, a lighter coloured version of cantaloupe)
Tornado (blue-grey)

When they are opened up, the umbrellas have a diameter of 1.04 metres, making it easy for two to keep dry.

I'm very curious about this "superior water repellence" and how it's typhoon resistant -- not many umbrellas pass that test. But what about the "anti hand-cutting" design that's patented? Does this mean the end of worrying about getting fingers caught in the umbrella while attempting to close it? I'm sold!

On the website, it says other vending machines are in the MTR stations at Admiralty, Kowloon Tong, Kwun Tong, Lam Tin and Sha Tin, and I wonder how good business is.

The cost is pretty competitive, as umbrellas at the 7-11 are around the same price, if a bit cheaper. But can the convenient-store umbrella boast such interesting features?

Sounds like ULA umbrella may have the cutting edge (pardon the pun) when it comes to keeping dry during typhoon season.


  1. There's one of these umbrella vending machines at Taikoo Shing MTR station too. :)

  2. this replaces the street vendors selling umbrellas on ferry terminals, bus stations etc. machine is taking over human- another example. job opportunity lost.