Campus Carry: Austin Company Has Made High-Tech Backpacks With Kevlar Plate | KERA News

Campus Carry: Austin Company Has Made High-Tech Backpacks With Kevlar Plate

Jun 23, 2016

Five stories that have North Texas talking: The iBackPack, developed in Austin, has Wi-Fi, USB ports and a bulletproof pocket; an anti-overdose drug is becoming more readily available in Texas; Tonight’s “Frame of Mind” features short films on Texas art; and more.

In 2016, a backpack isn’t just for carrying books and loose homework assignments. A new model expected to start shipping this fall includes everything modern students could need: device-charging ports, Wi-Fi and GPS capabilities and battery banks.


Oh, and an extra pocket with a bullet-proof plate. Yep, iBackPack, developed by an Austin-based tech company, will contain Kevlar, the synthetic fiber found in bullet-proof vests.


CEO Doug Monahan was working on the backpack in December, when he heard about the shooting in San Bernardino, California, according to Newsweek. Two people carried out the massacre at a County Department of Public Health holiday party, killing 14.  


In response, Monahan and team are marketing the product to Texas college students and faculty, given campus carry goes into effect Aug. 1.


Monahan told Newsweek: “If somebody goes into a classroom and starts some shenanigans, you can use the backpack as a Roman shield.” However, the iBackPack is really just a backpack with some protective material, not a fully bullet-proof product.


iBackPack has raised nearly $1 million across Kickstarter and Indiegogo, and Monahan said he’s pre-sold thousands of backpacks, which cost between $169 and $349. [Newsweek, iBackPack]

  • Texas pharmacists, who complete a mandatory training course, will be able to administer naloxone, a drug that stops the deadly effects of a drug overdose. When a person overdoses on an opioid, his or her breathing and pulse slow, which leads to brain damage or death. Naloxone, known by its brand name Narcan, stops those effects for 60 to 90 minutes by basically switching off the brain’s opioid receptors, according to The Texas Tribune. Senate Bill 1462, which took effect last September, allowed doctors to write a standing order for anyone to get the drug, and Texas is one of 33 states with the law in effect. The public health world is seeing the drug as major progress in Texas’ fight against the opioid epidemic. [The Texas Tribune]
  • On this week’s “Frame of Mind,” San Antonio filmmakers, Mark and Angela Walley take viewers into the Texas art scene with several short films. From Art&Seek: “The episode takes us on a stroll through Austin with performance artist Jimmy Kuehnle. Go into the wilderness with sound specialist Justin Boyd as he records the sounds often dismissed. And take a trip to a museum to follow the installation of Soo Sunny Park’s art exhibition at Rice Gallery.“ The 2015 season is being rebroadcast at 10 p.m. on Thursdays this summer on KERA TV. New episodes from the third season will run this fall. [Art&Seek]  


Gaia: MARSHLAND from Walley Films on Vimeo.

  • See what Rowlett and Garland look like six months after the deadly Dec. 26 tornadoes. Google Earth released new images that show the stark contrast between pre- and post-storm neighborhoods and streets. The Dallas Morning News reported: “The Google Earth photographs date from April 28, and the most haunting images come from Garland and Rowlett, where the tornadoes hit hardest. The comparison photographs were taken Dec. 2, 2015, about a month before the tornadoes hit.” Explore more images, videos and interviews with families that have rebuilt their lives in One Crisis Away: Rebuilding A Life. [The Dallas Morning News, KERA]
  • One house in Oak Cliff doesn’t look like the others, thanks to a Denton artist’s signature strokes. Eric Mancini, a 42 Murals contributor, revitalized the old Kemp House on Melba Street into a work of art. According to D Magazine, “Five days and 70 cans of spray paint later, the 1,200-square-foot home was made picture-perfect for Bishop Arts’ Brew Fest in May and local Instagram users throughout the summer.” Mancini refers to his custom pattern as “controlled chaos,” D said. The Bishop Arts home will only be available for a photo opp until developers take over the property. [D Magazine]