Jul 22, 2015

Yes, You Heard Right—The Smart Backpack Is Here!

Those of us born to a previous generation remember a time when backpacks were nothing more than material receptacles held together by a few seams and zippers. These knapsacks—which we slung over our shoulders or stuffed in lockers without a second thought—were good for carrying books and maybe gym clothes—and not much else.

My, how times have changed.

Among the many awesome wearable technology products hitting the market today are smart backpacks which offer a number of intriguing features. Common to most of these products are built-in batteries that can charge users’ mobile devices on-the-go. Some of the more advanced smart backpacks offer multiple USB ports and can actually detect which plugged-in devices are most in need of power and adjust charging priority accordingly.

Manufacturers are also working to develop backpacks specifically designed to keep cyclists safe when they are out after the sun goes down. These packs are outfitted with LED lights that are impossible for motorists to miss and can even illuminate turn signals if the route is plugged in advance.

While wearable innovations like smart backpacks, connected hearing aids, smart jewelry and IoT-enabled running shoes might have seemed like science fiction  even a few years ago, these products are all either readily available or will be soon.

As advanced chip solutions continue to drive down connectivity costs and drastically increase battery life, manufacturers will undoubtedly continue to expand their portfolio of wearable offerings. In fact, recent research from market research firm IDTechEx projects that the wearable technology market will grow to $70 billion by 2025, up from just $20 billion in 2015. It is difficult to even attempt to comprehend what $50 billion in market growth will look like in terms of innovation and new products. What’s more, wearables account for only a small percentage of the almost unfathomable projected growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) space as a whole.

But all of that expansion and innovation is still in the future. Right now we are just reaching the precipice of the wearable revolution, as products like smart backpacks capture our imagination and make our lives more convenient.

The smart backpack is not as far-fetched as one may have initially thought. In fact, it will likely be commonplace in just a few short years.