While we may be a bit nervous sometimes, America is actually a pretty safe place; we don’t have bombs constantly going off in the street, for example. Other countries are not so lucky, which is where the Rhino Skin comes into play.
Essentially, it’s a bulletproof vest with a backpack on top of it. Hila Raam, the designer, lives in Israel and points out that during missile attacks, most people are caught out in the open with no real shelter or sturdy cover to get behind. So they have to fall flat on the ground and hope there’s not a lot of shrapnel to deal with.
The Rhino Skin is built to increase the chances of survival while also being useful. It’s built with aramid fibers, which you might remember are commonly used in bulletproof vests, and has a built in hood that can easily be flipped over so that the brain, heart, kidney, lungs and other vitals have more protection. Aramid fibers protect you from more serious injury by absorbing the kinetic energy of the shrapnel; you may be bruised, or even suffer broken bones if the force is intense enough, but your other options are much less fun. As an added bonus, it’s pretty hard to get aramid fibers to burn.
And when you don’t need it to keep you alive, you can put your stuff in it, meaning you’ll likely have it with you and on your back. So, if you hear the siren and can’t make it to a shelter, you can flip up the hood, get flat and, well, hope for the best; there’s not much you can do if you’re too close to the blast pressure wave, of course. And your arms and legs are still exposed to potentially serious injury.
On the other hand, again, your options otherwise aren’t great.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.