A smart bag for mobile lifestyles

  • AFP
  • Updated: Sep 08, 2014 11:14 IST

The Phorce Pro is a smart bag that can carry all of your personal digital devices and keep them constantly charged so that you can work and play wherever your travels may take you.

The bag first came to the public's attention when it landed on Kickstarter, looking to raise $150,000 back in November 2012.

The campaign was a big success, bagging 700 preorders and $200,000 in funds but then it all went quiet.

However, according to the company's founder, Marijn Berk, the 20-month delay in coming to market was necessary.

"We didn't just want to make the world's first smart bag, we wanted to make the best," says Berk. "Doing it fast is nice, but doing it right is more important."

So the Phorce Pro smart bag that is launching at the IFA this week has a better battery and power management system, and the look and feel of the bag itself has also had some serious attention, made possible by attracting additional funding from banks and investors.

Available initially in black or red, it can transform from a courier-style bag to briefcase or twin-strap rucksack in a handful of seconds so that it can take the load -- it has space for other things as well as individual pockets for a smartphone, a tablet and a notebook -- and so that it blends in with the owner's wardrobe and environment.

The idea is that it won't look out of place whether in the meeting room, a departure lounge or while running for the train. And because the design is understated, most will be unaware that it's packed full of high-tech consumer devices.

Berk's motivation for making the bag was to free people from their offices so that they can be creative or productive wherever and whenever they want. "I believe there is more to life than sitting in an office all day. Phorce Pro enables people to achieve more while enjoying a mobile lifestyle," he says.

Inside the bag is a special power cell that can fully recharge a notebook or recharge an iPhone 5S 14 times before the pack itself needs to be plugged in again for four hours.

The pack also communicates with a smartphone or tablet via an app to let users know how much power is left and to send alerts if the bag is accidentally left behind.

There is already a growing range of potential solutions for people who want more juice for the devices while on the go from battery packs and power cases for smartphones and tablets, to bag straps with integrated mobile power supplies but the Phorce Pro pulls everything together in an elegant, hassle-free package.

However, this elegance comes at a price. The bag will cost €549 for PC owners and €599 for those that prefer an Apple notebook (and therefore need to use a Magsafe power cable) when it goes on sale at the end of September directly from the Phorce website.

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