New 'animative' backpack can play games, signal cyclist turns

Image: PIX
  • The Pix backpack features a built-in screen that displays customizable messages and animations.
  • Pix is currently available for pre-order on Kickstarter for $199 and is expected to deliver in January 2019.
  • Pix raises questions about the future of wearable technology, especially in terms of advertising potential.

A California-based company called PIX will soon release a backpack that can display animations and play games, offering a glimpse into the potential future of wearable technology.

PIX, which started a Kickstarter campaign that's already quadrupled its goal of $35,000, calls its quirky product an 'animative' urban backpack that's able to display animations and images that can help wearers hail taxis, hitchhike, display the time and weather, and signal traffic hazards. It's currently on early bird sale for $199, and will retail for $260.

Cyclists would perhaps benefit most from Pix, which offers a special package ($299) with a remote that lets cyclists signal turns and stops to cars behind them.

Image: Pix

Powered by a rechargeable battery pack (sold separately) and a Bluetooth connection, users can create their own animations or choose from a variety of premade animations from the Pix smartphone app. Users can also use the app to play old-school 8-bit games, like Tetris and Snake, on the backpack's 16-by-20-pixel screen.

Image: Pix

The creators of Pix say it's a product designed to highlight creativity and individuality.

"Everyone uses a backpack, and everyone has their own unique style," Sergii Iezdin, co-founder of Pix, told Business Insider. "With society's focus on self-expression, technology and high-performance, we jumped on the idea of combining these factors. We're excited to help people unleash their creativity in the backpack industry because nothing else is as customizable as Pix."

Image: Pix

Pix seems like a relatively simple piece of technology, but its ability to broadcast custom messages in public places raises questions about the future of wearable technology. For instance, it's not hard to imagine a future in which advertisers are willing to pay people to wear backpacks displaying commercials for their products, even ones specifically tailored to whoever happens to be walking behind someone wearing a Pix or something like it. Hopefully that's far, far away.

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