Will Gadget-Charging Backpacks Catch On This Year?

When I was in grade school, roller backpacks were just starting to catch on. The sheer weight of all those textbooks and binders made a wheeled backpack seem like a practical solution, especially to parents.

Unfortunately, I saw bullies make fun of kids with roller backpacks and stick out their feet to trip the wheels, flipping it over and embarrassing the poor kid rolling it.

I haven’t visited a middle school campus in sometime, so I’m not certain of all the latest fads. But it wouldn’t surprise me if many students showed up to school in the next few weeks with a gadget-friendly backpack like a Powerbag. I just hope that bullies don’t victimize a student lucky enough to get one.

MSNBC reported on a variety of techy backpack options for the wired students of today, and the Powerbag was at the top of their list (even if they did misspell it “Powergag”). The bag comes equipped with micro-USB, mini-USB and Apple connectors to power a variety of devices like smartphones, MP3 players and tablets. One notable drawback: the Powerbag doesn’t come with an option to charge a laptop, which seems like a strange oversight for such a high-tech piece of luggage.

With a hefty price tag of $140, chances are the Powerbag won’t be seen carried by too many students this year, but it is worth considering the possible trend that the Powerbag represents. As edtech startups move learning online, traditional textbooks move their content onto tablets and computer screens, and educators continue to embrace learning solutions that rely on mobile technology, students will need all the battery power they can get.

So until some inventor creates a smartphone battery than can last for weeks, gadget-charging peripherals like the Powerbag may spark the newest fad.