Dumb backpack gets smart, learns how to answer your calls
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Photo Credit: PR, Screenshot/ Lepow HiSmart Pack

“Our lifestyles have gone digital, but bag design essentially hasn’t changed for decades.” Here’s how this smart bag could make a “dumb” object more useful.

You already know that you can sync your phone with your music player, your email and your fitness tracker. Now you can also sync it with your backpack.

The waterproof Lepow HiSmart Pack, a convertible backpack/messenger bag displayed at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, has a metal wheel in the strap that’s actually a control system for your phone. Plug in headphones and connect via Bluetooth, and voila… your bag vibrates to let you know when someone’s calling or you’ve received a notification, and you can answer the phone by pressing a button.

“Our lifestyles have gone digital, but bag design essentially hasn’t changed for decades,” said Julianna He, chief operating officer of Lepow. “The HiSmart bag is the next step in wearables and will be the first to turn what we think of as a ‘dumb’ or ‘pure-fashion’ object on its head.”

A different kind of excess baggage

A more advanced prototype of the 17-pocket wireless bag, which comes in black and brown, will launch on Indiegogo in March. Selling for $299, the fuller version lets you play and pause music and do some basic mapping – push a button and you’ll be able to pin your location on Google Maps, which could come in useful when you need to figure out where you’ve parked your car – as well as enabling hands-free calling. And the bag can buzz to let you know it’s gotten too far from your phone.

Now all you’ve gotta do is hope telemarketers will learn to stop interrupting your backpack during dinner.

Featured image credit: Lepow

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Shoshana Kordova

About Shoshana Kordova


Shoshana Kordova is a former language columnist for Haaretz and Tablet Magazine and has written for publications including Smithsonian Magazine, Religion News Service, Quartz and the New York Times blog Motherlode. She is a New Jersey native who has been living, writing, translating and editing in Israel since 2001.

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