Pix Mini is the first smart backpack design with the child in mind. The Pix Mini is a standard 15-liter bag with a cool 8-bit LED screen on the back that is powered by an external battery (not included). The Kickstarter went live a little over a week ago and they were fully funded within six hours.
The inside of the bag has a laptop strap, notebook pocket, expandable bottle pocket, a compartment for chargers, and a pouch for pens—so basically all the standard organization a kid needs in a backpack.
Using the Pix Mini specific app, you can design still or flashing images to your heart’s content and put it on the screen for the world to see. There is also a library of pre-created images and widgets, including a widget that flashes the time or a flashlight that, well, lights your way. As the bag continues in development, more cool options will be added to the library.
You can adjust the brightness of the LEDs, which is a nice feature if your child plans to take this to school. It’s also water resistant and the screen is flexible enough that tests show no damage when bending the backpack.
I received a pre-production sample and had a lot of fun. Both my husband and my 13-year-old son had the same reaction: “Whoaa!” I’m not much of an artist, but I was able to create my favorite mouse and an LGBTQ heart to show off my pride. The longest part of the process was creating the design. Pairing my phone with the bag and uploading my design took only seconds.
I plan on using this bag when I go into the theme parks to make me easily seen by my family in the crowds. If it’s anything like it’s predecessor, a standard 20,000mAh battery should last me around 12 hours.
If your child doesn’t have a phone, no fear. You can let them design on your phone and upload it from there. The phone doesn’t need to stay connected once the design has uploaded. If you decide to go this route, understand you lose the geolocation and alarm features that tell you where your child is and if they stray too far from their backpack.
On top of the coolness of creating your own designs, the lights also make your child easier to see on the road while walking home from school or riding their bike.
The Pix Mini will be running a survey at the end of their campaign to determine what colors the bag will come in. Currently, the suggestions are carrot, plum, and blueberry.
The bag will retail for $130 once released, but you can grab one now for $79 plus shipping on the Kickstarter. Head over and snag one for your child (or heck, grab one for yourself) by July 4th when the Kickstarter ends. If you are interested in an adult-sized bag, check out our review of the Pix Animated Full-Sized Backpack.