Google and Samsonite have launched a new smart backpack to help users stay connected while out and about without having to constantly check their smartphones.
The Konnect-i backpack, which starts at $200 for the Slim version and $220 for the Standard edition, is the latest product in Google’s Jacquard lineup that also includes the Adidas GMR Play Connected and Levi’s Trucker Jacket.
Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) division first unveiled Project Jacquard at the company’s I/O developer conference back in 2015 and its technology has the ability to turn what looks like ordinary fabric into a touch-sensitive surface that can be used to trigger a number of functions on your smartphone.
The whole system is powered by a small tag that is charged using a mini-USB port and the tag itself can also relay notifications using its built-in LED and small vibration motor.
The new Samsonite Konnect-i backpack allows users to make the most of their smartphones without constantly looking down as the Jacquard technology embedded in the backpack’s strap lets you answer calls, hear text messages, use Google Maps for navigation, take selfies, play songs or know when a rideshare service has arrived using simple hand gestures on the strap of the backpack.
There are a number of different abilities available and using the Jacquard app, users can assign them to different gestures on the backpack such as brushing up, brushing down or double tapping the Konnect-i’s strap.
Samsonite will release both a Slim and Standard version of the Konnect-i backpack with the only real difference being that the Slim version features a vertical zipper while the Standard version has a horizontal zipper. The backpack also includes plenty of pockets as well as a padded laptop compartment which you would expect from a laptop bag.
Whether or not business users will be shopping around for a new smart backpack while working from home during the pandemic is a question worth asking but with the Samsonite’s new Konnect-i backpack, they’ll certainly be ready to return to the office in style when the time comes.