Kinda surprised no one thought of this earlier: Check out the Blunt Umbrella, by Kiwi designer Greig Brebner. It's not only safer for others around you--Brebner's near misses on crowded, rainy London sidewalks inspired the design--it's also stronger than your average umbrella:
An umbrella is only as strong as the tension able to be applied to the fabric stretched across the ribs. Taut fabric across the frame equals a strong umbrella, but as soon as the fabric tears away from a spike, or comes away from the ribs and comes loose, the whole strength of the umbrella is compromised.
The new design incorporates unique telescopic ribs, supported by high strength polycarbonate struts, and radical patent pending Blunt tips to generate what the company calls 'radial tension'. In combination the design innovations result in a stronger, safer and very distinctive umbrella.
The radical and innovative Blunt Tips are contained within specially designed pockets sewn into the outside edges of the canopy. As the umbrella is opened the fibreglass, telescopic ribs are pushed up and outwards, opening and forcing the Blunt Tips against the canopy edge. This action generates unprecedented strength to the canopy structure while eliminating point loading at the outer edges of the canopy - the traditional weak spot in umbrella design.
Not just a mere concept, these puppies are for sale.
via book of joe