LAS VEGAS — Companies are throwing sensors into everything this year. Toothbrushes, cookie jars, mouth guards … you name it, and someone is trying to cram some sort of sensor into it. Next up is your backpack.
AMPL Labs’ upcoming SmartBackpack promises to keep your tech items safe and charged for days by combining “smartsensors” with battery packs woven into the fabric. The end result is a supercharging backpack that can tackle anything from an iPhone to a MacBook, allowing wearers to charge multiple devices on the go.
“We found that 85 percent of consumers worry about their devices running out of power at least once a week,” said AMPL’s David Migdal. “So we developed our SmartBackpack to address all their power needs.”
The AMPL SmartBack also packs sensors for internal ambient temperature, barometric pressure and relative humidity. An accelerometer gives you feedback when you’ve been too rough with your pack. It also has built-in shock-absorbing tech, But the coolest thing is how it utilizes all its fancy sensors to prioritize charging, so your most important gizmos are never running on empty.
An 18.5-watt internal battery comes standard with the pack and can recharge your smartphone two or three times. It charges twice as fast as a normal lithium-ion battery and boasts a total of seven USB connectors — one in each pocket. To make the pack even more powerful, AMPL added three optional battery modules, so you can add on a couple of 55-Whs batteries, each of which can completely recharge a MacBook.
To make sure all your devices charge at the optimal rate, AMPL’s SmartSensors send battery-charge levels, internal temperature and more to the AMPL mobile app via Bluetooth LE, meaning you don’t have to open a zipper to check that your device is getting the juice it needs.
The pack itself will cost $299 when it launches later this summer. Additional battery modules will run you $59 or $139, depending on how much power you need to get through your work day.