New Samsonite smart backpacks use touch-sensitive FABRIC and start at £154

SMART backpacks are no longer science fiction, and Samsonite has proved it by releasing its Konnect-i range.

The luggage specialist has combined its design and manufacturing know-how with Google tech, creating backpacks which allow you to interact with your smartphone through their straps.

Samsonite’s Konnect-i range features two backpacks, the Slim and Standard.

Both make use of Google’s Jacquard technology, providing touch-sensitive fabric – allowing owners to use their smartphone on the go without even having to hold it.

The smart backpacks use a small tag on one strap, charged by mini-USB, to power the touch-sensitive fabric: the strap fabric then allows users to perform gestures on it to interact with a connected phone.

The strap tag also includes a small LED light and vibration function for notifications.

  • Samsonite Konnect-i smart backpacks, from £154 – here

On its website, Samsonite suggests users can use media functions like “play, pause, next track and what’s playing…receiving phone calls and texts” with its Konnect-i products.

The two smart-backpacks also offer some navigation uses such as "estimating arrival times and directions with use of gestures.

“Dropped pins and saved locations” are another option, as well as activating a phone’s camera, a camera countdown, or interacting with Android’s Google Assistant through gestures.

While functions may be limited, what is assigned to the strap gestures available – brush up, brush down, double tap and covering the Jacquard tag on the strap – can be customised in Jacquard’s own smartphone app.

For anyone keen on the idea of owning a backpack with touch-sensitive fabric, Konnect-i products are the most affordable option, at $199 USD (£154) for the Slim and $219 (£170) for the Standard.

In comparison, a Saint Lauren backpack fitted with Google’s Jacquard touch-sensitive fabric previously went on sale at $1,000.

Behind the smart tech, Samsonite’s two offerings provide users all the quality and functionality to be expected from the brand too.

That includes multiple pockets, side-pockets for bottles, water repellent fabric and a padded compartment for laptops.

  • Samsonite Konnect-i smart backpacks, from £154 – here

All prices in this article were correct at the time of writing, but may have since changed. Always do your own research before making any purchase.

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