There are more phones than people. Cars can park themselves. Thermostats can email you.
But there is something that got left behind somewhere in the last century. The humble backpack has followed us through our lives, faithfully carrying crayons and coloring books, laptops and college dissertations, and eventually diapers and adult coloring books. All without getting a piece of the high-tech action blowing by it.
Well, the backpack is in for an overhaul.
PIX is a new backpack with a full color digital display embedded into the back of the bag.
By connecting the smartphone app to the backpack via bluetooth, you can display just about any graphic imaginable, from emoji or art, to a stopwatch or video games. Everything lights up seamlessly beneath the water-resistant nylon fabric in pixelated glory.
I know what you’re thinking, “Wait, doesn’t a screen mean I have to schlep around 16 AAs all the time?” Nope. In fact, the PIX doesn’t have batteries at all. It works by connecting any standard 20k mAh portable battery via USB. Portable powerbanks have become ubiquitous and cheap in the past few years, and this not only lets you power the bag, but charge other devices on the go too.
First and foremost, it’s a backpack and it’s gotta be able to carry stuff. Thankfully, the embedded display adds no visible bulk and the PIX can haul just as much as any other bag. There are 4 main zipper compartments with room for a 15″ laptop, tablet, water bottle, documents and more.
The paired app can stream just about anything to the display, including animated graphics and video games. This makes it possible to play retro 8-bit games like Tetris and Snake on your backpack. Maybe even Pac-Man on a pack, man! (sorry)
There are also practical applications like displaying traffic indicators for cyclists. The optional PIX cycling remote fastens onto a bike and has turn indicators just like a car. With a push of a button the backpack displays a flashing arrow for turns, and a stop-sign for stops using the built-in accelerometer.