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This e-paper backpack is the kind of crazy we deserve

There's a bigger plan in play here, though.
Chris Velazco, @chrisvelazco
January 5, 2017
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Just to be clear, this is exactly what you think it is: a backpack with a hole cut in it, and an e-paper display wedged inside. And yes, that e-paper display has my face on it. Normally, this is the time when I'd start talking about hitting peak CES absurdity, but POP-I president Vikram Joshi has more in store than just these rough early models.

Gallery: Meet the POP-I backpack | 5 Photos

But first, the basics. At some point this year, you'll be able to buy a backpack with a 4.7-inch or 10-inch e-paper screen for between $100 and $400. You can also have one of these bags in any material you want (as long as you want leather or canvas). Anyway, Joshi says the startup has been working on the concept for about a year, and has put plenty of work into developing these flexible displays. Those screens -- which Joshi and his team are sourcing from another vendor -- will undergo more fine-tuning in hopes that apparel and accessory makers will stick them in their products. These aren't the most elegant first attempts, but as far as he's concerned, that's the nature of the beast -- in order to drive adoption, POP-I has to do some of the initial design and production to create some buzz.

Judging by some of the stories out there, I'd say they succeeded. It doesn't hurt that the process of connecting to the screen from the phone and swapping patterns is pretty simple. When the corresponding app is installed, it forges a connection to the screen over Bluetooth -- from there, users can pick from some preloaded patterns or do what I did and snap a picture to load. After a few seconds, you're good to go.

The app's interface is actually pretty reminiscent of Snapchat, since it launches straight into the camera and lets you add stickers and doodle on top of images. Joshi admits the team would eventually like to build out some kind of social platform on top of all that imaging, but there's plenty of work to be done before they get to that point.

So yes, these bags are far from perfect. They're only the tip of a very particular sartorial iceberg, though, and maybe this sort of flexible gear is just what our generation deserves.

Click here to catch up on the latest news from CES 2017.
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