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Backpack Innovation in Fiction

Posted by Lilith on Oct 2, 2018 5:00:00 PM

The way we live is changing incredibly fast. Right now, some of the things you thought would become a reality a hundred years into the future are already here! What about backpacks? What the future holds for packs? How does backpack innovation appear in fiction?

If you’re interested in this perfect carry that you can take with you to work every day or just whenever you go out, keep on reading this post.


The Popularity of Backpacks

Workforce, especially in the US, has been changing towards more casual and comfortable workwear for decades. Today, you can see sneakers in many office settings. The same goes for the backpack. From LA to New York, people have chosen the versatility of backpacks both in casual and more formal styles.




Backpacks are for storing and organizing your gym clothes, happy hour outfits, water bottles, as well as your laptop, phone, and other everyday items you need. The backpack boasts important details that the briefcase lacks. Moreover, newer backpacks, “smart backpacks”, offer more striking opportunities and features, and are already popping up everywhere.


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No matter, you’re frequently on the road for your job, or just traveling all around the world, you must be looking for bags that’re thoughtfully designed to make your travel easier, mustn’t you? Thankfully, backpack companies work on designing packs that can better fit what you need for your busy days in a well-organized manner. So, bags are becoming more able to cater to people’s lifestyle.


Nowadays, you can come across things that were beyond your imagination in the past. Today, you can use your backpack for not only carrying your laptop, phone, or gym shorts but also more innovative tools.


Namely, since the modern concept of “autonomy” is now quite appealing to the military folks, they can think of using the 3D printing tool serving as a knife that’s already available these days. They can use their backpack to carry the tool around and take it out, e.g., in the field, to print various devices, using only raw materials fed into the printer.


The role of the backpack is growing in a way that was unimaginable in the past. Let’s move forward to see the backpack innovation in fiction.


Backpacks in Fiction

The backpack market is expected to account for 19.6 billion US dollars by 2022. Even if the word "backpack" still reminds some people of middle school, modern backpacks are far away from being childish. Today, you can easily find a backpack that’s both cool and functional, and is a great fit for your style or your daily needs.




Let’s go back and see what was going on during 1965-1995. Well, those were the years when one-strapping was dominant in our life. Form 1995, the number of two-strappers began to slowly increase. 1996-2004 were the years of two-strappers. The real change from one strap to two occurred in the mid-2000s. 2005-2007 two-strappers took over.


The striking thing is that you could predict the backpack evolution by just taking a closer look at fiction. All that movies and TV reflected these trends almost exactly. Any ’80s teen movies like “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” (1982), or “Heathers” (1988) showed nothing but one-strappers.

In ’90s movies, you could see the same trend, which continued and then started to change. In “Election” (1999), the way the characters carried their book bags determined their characters.

From the mid-2000s on, teen movies were full of two-strappers. You could see that in “Brick” (2005), “High School Musical” trilogy (2006–2008), “Easy A” (2010), “The Amazing Spider-Man” (2012), etc. So, what was once the sign of ultimate nerdiness turned into the ultimate cool.


What do we have today? Cyberpunk science fiction! Tattoos with flashing lights and sophisticated circuitry, monitoring your vitals and offering you real-time personalized health advice. They’re connecting your biology to the web and putting the Internet of Things in your fingertips. They enhance your five senses and can even add new ones.


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You can watch such human augmentation in “Circuits,” the first episode of “Glimpse,” which is a new original sci-fi series from Futurism Studios. So, just imagine for a moment how smart our backpacks are going to be in the future!


What the Future Has for Backpacks

Today, not only the backpack but also fibers are smart, thanks to nanotechnology. The fabrics you use today can all of a sudden start communicating with your devices. 3D printing is going to further change the way you perceive production. So, the backpack is going to become smarter and smarter in the years to come.


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Can you imagine what backpack you’re going to wear in a world where your electronic devices are more than just rectangular screens in your pockets? Where your electronic devices are more integrated into the fabric of your life?


In fact, we aren’t going to wait long! You can already find backpacks that exchange, store, create, and view digital data and complete basic tasks. You can already wear a backpack with shoulder straps featuring an interactive E-paper display, a touch interface to browse, modify, and exchange files.


3D printing is going to revolutionize the backpacks you wear today. There’s already a platform allowing people to design custom shoe insoles, based on measurements or a 3D scan of your foot. One day, you’ll be able to personalize and print out the backpack you need. Moreover, you won’t even need to wash your backpack. How? Soon, you’ll be enjoying futuristic nano-coatings that’ll reduce the need to wash clothes.


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When it comes to artificial intelligence (AI) in fashion design, Tommy Hilfiger is already exploring this. Besides, at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, Michael Ferraro (executive director of Infor Design and Tech Lab at the college), is working on this. Some of their students have designed a backpack for a high-end bicycle. It represents a huge advancement in programming and electronics.



With each day, the objects surrounding us are becoming more digitally enabled and connected. The pace of digital deployment is accelerating. In this increasingly connected world, the backpack will get more digitally enabled, thus making your life unbelievably convenient and smart! All is yet to come!