Automotive

Hail Protector – The external airbag for your car

Hail Protector – The external ...
The Hail Protector inflates to protect against hail damage
The Hail Protector inflates to protect against hail damage
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The system sends an email notification to users advising of imminent hail storm
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The system sends an email notification to users advising of imminent hail storm
The Hail Protector provides protection from all angles
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The Hail Protector provides protection from all angles
The Hail Protector inflates to protect against hail damage
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The Hail Protector inflates to protect against hail damage
The Hail Protector in normal standby state
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The Hail Protector in normal standby state
The Hail Protector cover is inflated via four remote-operated blowers.
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The Hail Protector cover is inflated via four remote-operated blowers.
The Hail Protector app provides ongoing updates of potential storm threats
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The Hail Protector app provides ongoing updates of potential storm threats
The Hail Protector app information is sourced from the National Weather Service
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The Hail Protector app information is sourced from the National Weather Service
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According to the Highway Loss Data Institute, approximately 250,000 cars are damaged by hail every year in the U.S. alone. The average cost of repair comes in at just over US$3,100, so what’s a person to do to protect their vehicle when rain takes the form of ice sculpted golf balls? The obvious solution – airbag the car.

Shifting the airbag from a car's interior to its exterior was the idea of the folks at Texas-based Hail Storm Products. The company's patented Hail Protection System is essentially a puffy car cover/airbag in one that is designed to protect from hail damage.

The system includes a smartphone app – available for iOS and Android – that uses information from the USA’s National Weather Service to provide owners with a warning on the potential for hail 30-60 minutes before a storm hits. For those that have forgotten their phone, the system will also send an email alert.

The cover itself is made up of two layers, the first of which straps to the wheels and under the car, with the second forming the outer protection. The cover inflates via four blowers that are powered by a small compressor that sits idle until the owner engages the defense system using a small remote.

With the ability to inflate in less than five minutes, the manufacturer claims the system can protect vehicles from hail up to the size of a softball. Once the storm has passed, the system then goes on standby and returns to its role as the Clark Kent of car covers.

In addition to hail defense, the cover also offers the usual UV protection, water resistance and breathability when not in armor mode. Installation is also car cover simple, with a few minor steps added for the strapping down and power connections.

The system retails for between $299 and $399, depending on the size of the vehicle to be protected.

The video below shows the Hail Protector inflating at 25x normal speed.

Source. Hail Storm Products

Step 11: INSTALL_HAIL PROTECTOR Activation

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17 comments
Paul van Dinther
Clever idea but...
Don't those big hail storms go together with very strong winds? Seeing the video suggests this balloon is affected by wind a lot.
Inflated it may become a sail and be pressed against the car. curious how well it handles that. Also the fans inflating the balloon are rather weak suggesting a gust of wind can press the air out of the balloon (deflate it) and it just might take far too long to re-inflate the balloon before hail stones fall.
A video showing that it works will be hard to make but would be more convincing.
Buellrider
I've been looking for something like that to come along and here it is. The video sure reminds me of a Monarch Caterpillar Becoming a Chrysalis. I was waiting for it to burst forth and stretch it's wings.
Michael Siciliano
TN, indulge me and view the video on the home page of our website. It may make more sense on how it all works together. Thanks.
Michael Siciliano
Paul, Please see the Hail Protector in up to 60mph winds in the 3rd video down on this link: http://www.hailprotector.com/videos/ The air pressure creates strength. The shape creates aerodynamics. Thanks.
Stewart Mitchell
what about the rock storm that is predicted?
just a silly question.
Michael Siciliano
Funny, Stewart. Yeah, I think that meteor that hit in Russia would be beyond our capabilities.
Kiel Stuart (@kielrhys)
There are already a lot of weather forecasting apps, another one just adds to the cost. Low portability and a time consuming set up process will make any hail protection system ineffective in a lot of real world scenarios, even if you're lucky enough to get a hail storm warning from a weather app. Sometimes you'll get lucky.
Here's an alternative:
http://www.hail-shield.com
Not very high tech but neither is a comb - it just does what it's meant to do. It's compact and portable, and sets up in an instant. The high-tech is in the thought that went into design rather than the complexity of the product which makes it as simple, and thus fast and inexpensive as possible.
Michael Siciliano
Kiel, what we are doing with the application is proprietary and patent pending. It's beyond that of what is offered presently in the USA. Not to mention we're including it for free for the lifetime of your ownership of Hail Protector.
5 minutes of install time when we give you your hail forecast for the day and update it as your hail forecast changes. So you've truly got hours of heads up. Then we give you a 30 to 60 minute heads up to press your button to activate. And once you press the button you begin getting protection within 2 minutes and have full protection within 5 minutes. Powered by AA batteries for 1 hour, powered by cigarette lighter cord for 2.5 hours without effecting the starting power of your car or by AC outlet virtually indefinitely. Packs up in the size of a dry cleaning bag. Portability was essential to the design.
Lumen
Saw it on Invention USA television series. Great to see that it's coming to market. You guys put a lot of years and dedication in, and best wishes!