Samsonite’s New Smart Backpack Powered By Google's Jacquard Tag Can Control Your Phone

Google has joined Samsonite to make a smart backpack, called the Konnect-I, that controls your...

Photo credit: Google

Google has joined Samsonite to make a smart backpack, called the Konnect-I, that controls your phone. Konnect-I controls various functions on your phone that you would normally touch the screen or use your voice to interact with. This backpack implements the use of Google's Jacquard technology, which adds touch sensitivity to fabrics.

Read more: Google Is Working On A New Generation Of Wearables, Including Holographic Glasses And Smart Tattoos

The heart of Jacquard is the Jacquard Tag, a tiny computer that makes everyday things more helpful. The tag needs to be charged via a mini-USB port. It relays notifications through its built-in LED and a small vibration motor. On the Konnect-I backpack, the tag is fitted onto the left strap, and wearers can customize which of their gestures should unlock specific actions on their phones.

If you want to control music, you need to brush up and down the strap. You double tap on the strap to take a selfie, or open Google Assistant to hear the latest news. An LED on the strap is also set to light up according to the alerts set by the user, reports ZENet.

The backpack comes in handy for hikers. They can configure it to receive turn-by-turn directions while on the go, without needing to look at their phone's navigation.

Since its introduction in 2017, Jacquard smart fiber technology has made its way into a wide-ranging list of products. It was first used on the sleeve of a jacket so that it could recognize the gestures of the person wearing it. The same technology was later used on Cit-E backpack with Saint Laurent. Then Google collaborated with Adidas and EA on their GMR shoe insert, enabling its wearers to combine real-life play with the EA SPORTS FIFA mobile game.

Read more: Google Partnering with Adidas and EA Sports to Launch New Smart Insole that Tracks Soccer Skill

The Konnect-I backpack comes in two styles: Slim ($199) and Standard ($219). The slim version has a vertical zipper and the standard version a horizontal one.

Sam Draper
October 7, 2020

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