Initial wearable Jacquard tech included a Levi’s denim jacket and a Saint Laurent backpack. This year, it added Jacquard to shoe soles and a wider range of backpacks, including this affordable Samsonite option. The backpack has a chip the size of a thumb drive that turns thread into touch-sensitive material. Tap to skip songs, increase volume, answer calls, and more. The material can be washed after removing the plug-and-play chip. Then just charge the chip. No need to plug in your entire backpack.
The new Samsonite Konnect-i Backpack incorporates Google’s Jacquard touch-sensitive fabric technology right into the strap. The Jacquard remote control for your phone is a smart addition to an otherwise unobtrusive bag. Read on to see what works and what doesn’t.
There’s also a tablet pouch and a separate compartment for the camera, lenses, notepads, etc. It’s all lined in a lighter silver and blue fabric to make it easier to see what’s inside.
The Standard Backpack is surprisingly roomy. The sheer number of pouches and pockets for organization helps cut through the chaos. On the outside, there are three zipped pockets – two on the front, each with subdivided pockets and pen holders; one on the top; and separate pockets for documents, cables, and other small items. Only a keychain clip was missing.
The black, water-repellent polyester won’t attract attention, but I think that’s a good thing. A thin silver stripe runs down the center. The back panel is thickly padded, and the straps appear well-reinforced. A horizontal sleeve fits over your carry-on suitcase’s handles.
The Konnect-i Backpack’s Jacquard distinguishes it from the rest of Samsonite’s bags. Google’s touch sensors are woven into the left strap, above a nook for the Jacquard tag. It’s a tight fit and half-covered with an elastic strap, so even if you stuff it under a seat or in the back of a car, the Bluetooth dongle won’t fall out accidentally.