When you’re on the go, it’s a pain having to take your phone out and put it back into your bag or pocket just to check a message or skip to the next track. With the Samsonite smart backpack, Konnect-i, you can control your smartphone without having to have it in your hands.
How it works
The Samsonite smart backpack is powered by Jacquard by Google, a technology that allows your phone to be controlled via by bluetooth via your backpack. Each Konnect-i bag comes with a Google Jacquard Tag, which looks something like a very small USB, along with a micro USB cable for charging. According to the press release, each charge is good for 10 days to two weeks, depending on the level of usage. Before you begin the process of pairing the Tag with your phone, charge the Tag for a couple of minutes.
Once that’s done, pair the Tag with the backpack. To do that, download the Google Jacquard app on your phone. You’ll learn via the app that Jacquard tech has been incorporated not just into Samsonite’s Konnect-i, but also with some products from Levi’s and Saint Laurent. The knowledge that Google has established partnerships with the Jacquard across several brands—that this isn’t just a novelty one-product wonder—brings great comfort. But we digress. To pair the Jacquard Tag, follow the instructions on the app and you’re done.
Next, the app will prompt you to slot the Tag into your smart backpack. There’s a nest in the base of the left shoulder strap—place the Tag in there and click it into place. The haptic feedback lets you know that’s done. The app prompts an update, which you say yes to, and in about three minutes, the update is complete.
Finally, the app will prompt you to carry the Konnect-i backpack and test out the controls which are concentrated only on the left shoulder strap of the bag. The controls can be personalized via the app; so for instance, you can brush up to skip to the next track, brush down to drop pins to save new places, double tap to take a selfie, or cover the strap with your palm to silence notifications.
The backpack itself
The Samsonite smart backpack comes in two iterations, Standard (S$330) and Slim (S$300). The roomy bags come with a 15.6″ padded laptop compartment, cushy padded shoulder straps and easy-access zipper compartments. The backpack’s outer is made with water repellent fabric. That said, these cannot be machine washed or submerged in water; instead use a soft cloth to wipe the backpack clean.
How does this bag compare to smart earphones?
The thinking behind the Samsonite Konnect-i backpack is much like that of most wireless earphones these days, in that both allow you to control your smartphone without having to stare at your phone all day long.
The Samsonite Konnect-i, however, performs more than just audio or call-related functions. With a swipe of the shoulder strap, you can keep track of places you’ve been and want to take note of, “keep count of cool things” for example, the number of buildings you passed by on your way home, and provides navigation information. In short, the Samsonite smart backpack doesn’t just peel your eyes away from your phone, it actively encourages you to look at the world around you.