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

  • 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.

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

Why the ocean you know and love won’t exist in 50 years

Can sensitive coral reefs survive another human generation?

  • Coral reefs may not be able to survive another human decade because of the environmental stress we have placed on them, says author David Wallace-Wells. He posits that without meaningful changes to policies, the trend of them dying out, even in light of recent advances, will continue.
  • The World Wildlife Fund says that 60 percent of all vertebrate mammals have died since just 1970. On top of this, recent studies suggest that insect populations may have fallen by as much as 75 percent over the last few decades.
  • If it were not for our oceans, the planet would probably be already several degrees warmer than it is today due to the emissions we've expelled into the atmosphere.
Keep reading Show less
Image source: Topical Press Agency / Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Though we know today that his policies eventually ended the Great Depression, FDR's election was seen as disastrous by some.
  • A group of wealthy bankers decided to take things into their own hands; they plotted a coup against FDR, hoping to install a fascist dictator in its stead.
  • Ultimately, the coup was brought to light by General Smedley Butler and squashed before it could get off the ground.
Keep reading Show less

Health care: Information tech must catch up to medical marvels

Michael Dowling, Northwell Health's CEO, believes we're entering the age of smart medicine.

Photo: Tom Werner / Getty Images
Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • The United States health care system has much room for improvement, and big tech may be laying the foundation for those improvements.
  • Technological progress in medicine is coming from two fronts: medical technology and information technology.
  • As information technology develops, patients will become active participants in their health care, and value-based care may become a reality.
Keep reading Show less