JanSport is dabbling in smart-tech fabric, and they want your backpack to be just as social as you.
According to Steve Munn, President of JanSport:
“A [backpack is a] place to put something to eat, something to drink and something to wear — [that’s] what’s most important. Now, it becomes potentially an avenue for social interaction.”
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The backpack is essentially a gigantic QR code. Take a picture of the backpack with your smartphone and access any online information the backpack owner creates.
One in six consumers currently own and use wearables and the industry is projected to be worth $34 Billion by 2020 ー so there is a viable market for social backpacks. The concept is interesting, take a picture of someone’s backpack and access any information they want you to see. No more awkward getting to know you questions or fumbling through icebreaker topics. All of the backpack owner’s interesting information can be read, watched or listened to instantly.
Although the backpack is the first of its kind, there’s also a high chance it could flop ー simply because our phones act as our one and only form of communication. Adding another piece of tech into the equation seems innovative, but it could be viewed as unnecessary.
Why buy another product and set up another profile when the same information can be found through Instagram, Snapchat, or Messages? Not to mention, if the person on the other side of the camera doesn’t have good intentions, it could make children and young adults easy targets for harassment or abuse.
JanSport hasn’t made any comments as to whether or not the company plans on publically selling the backpacks.