November 20, 2014

Trendsetters

Innovators: Aerospace & Technology

Florida inventions: From the combat field to the football field ...

Mike Vogel | 11/1/2007

A Major Impact

It’s a fair bet that most people stuck on Miami’s Palmetto Expressway aren’t noodling inventions — well, maybe they’re thinking up ways to create a flying car. Mechanical engineer and aspiring inventor Cameron Gunn, though, dreamed up hurricane protection while commuting to his day job — designing fueling systems for airports.

Cameron Gunn and Leticia Delatorre
Cameron Gunn and Leticia Delatorre

Shield Technology Group
Founders, inventor
Miami
Education: Bachelor’s, mechanical engineering, University of Alberta
Life as an inventor: “It’s been something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.”
Co-founder: His wife, Leticia Delatorre, is executive vice president of sales and marketing
[Photo: Daniel Portnoy]

Gunn, a native of Canada, conceived a fabric covering stretched as tight as a drumhead to protect a house’s windows at a price cheaper than all but storm panels and plywood.

For the past two years, he has worked full time on bringing his ImpactShield to market. The shield is approved by the Florida Building Commission but not authorized under the tough Miami-Dade building code that governs south Florida. He needs another $100,000 to pay for additional testing there. He sells online and hopes to have ImpactShield soon in a major home improvement retailer.

Gunn’s fueling system work had taught him about the capabilities of high-strength fabrics. His patented breakthrough includes stretching heavy polyethylene fabric taut with a crank so that projectiles bounce off. He says it’s easy to install and quick to deploy.

Making the top 25 of the History Channel’s Modern Marvels Invent Now Challenge has brought attention. Now the trick is marketing and selling the ImpactShield. “The whole thing, ‘If you have a great product it will sell itself,’ I don’t know if that’s true. It takes a lot of work to get it in front of people,” says Gunn, 39.

He has applied for a patent for his ImpactPanel, another window covering, and has invented a flood protection product. “I have a lot of ideas. I have an inventor’s book,” he says. “I’ve been doing this quite awhile — finally found one I felt passionate about.”

ImpactShield
The ImpactShield is a heavy polyethylene fabric stretched tightly.

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