A new backpack with a built-in pixelated display is seeking funding on Kickstarter. Controlled from a smartphone, the Pix can display images and animations and also be used to play games.
The Pix works in conjunction with the Pix Backpack app for iOS and Android. Designs can be chosen from a library or created from scratch using a mobile device, then sent to the backpack via a Bluetooth connection.
The display has a 16 x 20-pixel display, which is extremely low resolution by any measure but that's clearly the intention (and all the better to achieve that relentlessly popular pixelated retro aesthetic). But it's enough to play some classic games from the 8-bit era such as Tetris, Snake and Arkanoid. The display is capable of some 16.5 million color variations, though.
As well as games and designs, the Pix can also display what its creators describe as widgets, or functional mini-apps which can show things like the time, the weather and mobile notifications (should you wish to share them with the world, that is).
Perhaps the best of these widgets, at least as a glance, is the cycling widget. Working in tandem with the Pix Cycling Remote, the backpack can be used to indicate left and right ahead of making turns when cycling.
Inside, the Pix is a Marie Kondo fever-dream, with a host of compartments for keeping gear nice and tidy, including a laptop compartment, a water bottle holder, a leash for your keys, and secret hidy-holes for precious items.
It also has a dedicated pocket for a power bank which can be used to charge a smartphone while also powering the Pix itself. A 20,000 mAh bank will apparently keep the lights on for about 12 hours.
Though the display side of the Pix is black, the sides and straps come in a choice of gray, black, yellow, magenta or cyan. Its makers say the backpack is made from Cordura Nylon, and is resistant to both water and physical shocks.
At the time of writing and with 19 days remaining, Pix has attracted over US$112,000 in pledges; far in excess of its $35,000 crowdfunding goal. A pledge of $219 will put your name down for a Pix backpack, which is a discount of 15 percent from its retail price. A power bank can be thrown in for an extra $39.
The Cyclers Pack, which includes both a Pix backpack and the Cycling Remote, comes in at $299. The folks behind Pix say they will refund dissatisfied customers, "no questions asked."
All going to plan, production of the Pix is due to commence this October, with Kickstarter rewards shipping from January 2019.
The obligatory campaign video is below.
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