The iBackPack Indiegogo Project Review
Welcome to my series of Crowdfunding campaign insights Hub pages that focuses on creative and innovative designer products on crowdfunding platform such as Indiegogo and Kickstarter. In these hubs the campaigns will be viewed through 5 simple lenses:.
- The Idea
- Do i need it
- Will it change my life or world
The purpose being to provide insights on the idea or concept as well as the product itself. In addition this series of hubs aims to introduce the crowdfunding movement and new products to a wider mainstream audience. A topic i wrote about in my hub: Crowdfunding 101 with a Capital C.
This hubs series will be a learning experiences for myself and i welcome feedback and comments. Now please join me in exploring both the amazing designer products and creative idea that are appearing on crowdfunding platforms today.
Introducing the iBack Pack a next generation smart backpack
Introduction to the iBackPack campaigns
I first stumbled across the IbackPack when i was researching and looking into The Coolest Cooler & The Coolbox, Smart Toolbox and it seems i am on a theme with the products i have been reviewing as they have had surprising similarities and design concepts, maybe next time i'll have to start looking into more different types of products and campaign to achieve a more rounded approach to these hubs but before that lets get into the iBackPack.
The iBackPack is a project that was launched mid 2015 originally on Indiegogo by entrepreneur Doug Monahan based out of Austin, Texas. The project is not a start up per sa and has been in develop for a few years before its launch on Indiegogo. The original funding goal was $60.000 which the team reached and raised over $600.000. Following the success of the campaign the team then followed up with a Kickstarter campaign for version 2.0 of the ibackpack which did quite well and raising over $76,000 and only ended this month, April 2016.
I am actually very impressed with this product and think its pretty cool especially after my research of The Coolest & The Coolbox, however i did came across a youtube video review of a blogger from Australia praising the product but then in the comments below the video had feedback where he withdraw from the project stating it was in development hell. while other comments refereed to the project as spam. As i am not affiliated with any of the crowdfunding projects i am reviewing. I do wonder if some are genuine or not myself since there have been cases where crowdfunding campaigns have not delivered and scammed backer. Further digging seems to suggest the project is legit but i am sure the negative PR would have hurt the project. You can view the video yourself down below at the end of this hub.
There are risks associated with crowdfunding and for the uninitiated they can cause frustration if you do not know what your getting into with a project. However i have to give the iBackPack team credit for putting a "Risk & Challenges" at the end of their campaign page stating the risks involved, which i have not seen in many campaigns as well as doing a good job with replying to Backer questions in the comments section. Maybe one of the future intentions of these hubs is to also provide extra comfort for those backers wishing to be involved in some of the projects.
Say all that, iBackPack seems to be well planned and has good model behind them for success.
For details see the iBackPack 2.0 on Kickstarter
Would you back a crowdfunding project?
1 - The iBackPack Concept
The concept behind the iBackPack is a simple and elegant solution of convenience and organisation to the "Internet of things" and our mobile lifestyles, much like in The Coolest and the Coolbox. However this time various device and products are integrated into a backpack to created a mobile platform for the traveling techies or sales reps. Like it was suggested on the iBackPack's website past generations of professional use to carry suitcases however the new techie generations do not use suitcases but carry back packs. So its kind of fitting the backpack should be hacked and upgrade.
Beyond a well designed back pack and unlike the coolest and Coolbox the ibackpack also offers more software integration, for examples in the form of a anti theft app and a data service via its wifi hot spot device embedded in the unit.
Its is these elements, the hardware and software integration which i think will set the iBackPack apart especially from the Coolest or Coolbox so far. The iBackPack also has more potential for add-on features and with the idea of a Kevlar pad insert in the back is genius during these troubling times in America. They really have tough of everything is the product.
2 - Features of the iBackPack 2.0
Currently their are two version of the iBackPack version 1.0 with basic features first launched on Indiegogo, with the options of a few versions from a Starter to a Pro version, based on a combination of electronic device. Then there is iBackPack 2.0 which is on Kickstarter and features upgraded elements.
So far it is confusing and hard to distinguish quickly the features between each version but i will focus on the iBackPack version 2.0. Key features are displayed in the image below but for details on the features visit the Kickstarter campaign.
There are 4 models to choose from for the iBackPack 2.0:
- Starter pack
- WiFi Hot Spot version
- Power Pack version
- Sales Pro version
Each version designed for a niche in mind. For the average customer and me i think the campaign could have benefited from a chart that explains each version of the iBackPack and upgrades making it easier to select the one most suited you their needs.
Basic features of the iBackPack
3 - Price of the iBackPack
In my previous hubs reviewing The Coolest and Coolbox i created a summary table listing all the components of the product to judge a persevered value individually verses its combined product in the crowdfunding campaign. With all the variations in the iBackPack and extra options its going to be complex to do that this time as such i will focus more general aspects of pricing.
At first glance the iBackPack is priced well and in all of its versions, for example my Samsonite back pack costed around $100-$150 but it did not have any of the items for example in the starter versions of iBackPack which is asking $149 from backer.
Even in some of the other models, not including the organisation and convenience factors it seems like the iBackPack is pretty good value even at its final retail price. So for anyone who does not had all the individual devices or accessorizes its a great price. My only concern is in some cases i would rarely use some of the items.
Features that i find invaluable would be the 50+ pockets, you can never have enough storage spaces, The new durable handle, This feature is important to me as with my Samsonite backpack i had parts of the handle and shoulder strap break because at times i would carry my backpack on one shoulder. Finally the Kevlar insert pad would provide peace of mind and great to have.
4 - Do i need the iBackPack
Being no stranger to back packing across country and in and around cities, i can see all the benefits and appreciate the features and design work that has gone into creating the iBackPack as a mobile platform for our tech savvy and mobile lifestyle. For this reason iBackPack is a great item to own and in fact may become more common place in the future. Similar to the Carry-on luggage style of bags on wheel. I can also certainly go into details listing the pro and cons for individual elements between each model or combination of the iBackPacks however i think the best approach to this questions is more of an individual one and based on your own needs.
Originally, i wanted to have this question included as a part of my insight to differentiate products which are just better mouse trap or trinkets. Certainly the iBackPack is not one of those products.
With the various versions the iBackPack it certainly make choosing one easier and with additional extras the iBackPack is probably as close as you will get to a fully customized backpack thats mass market. So if your looking for a backpack that will suit your needs the iBackPack is a great choice.
5 - Will the iBackPack change my life or world?
The iBackPack is a cool product and another all-in-one type of item. Its probably the one that deserve the title of a "Go-Bag" more then the Coolest or Coolbox but this time for tech savvy & mobile.
Having try other existing brands of backpack, the iBackPack is certainly an attractive option for the price but also for the uniqueness of purchasing all your essential electronic accessories at once. The benefits of the unique add-on's like the kevlar pad is priceless especially if its for the kids version of the bag.
The iBackPack will certainly help organised my bag better and reduce my choices in looking for a suitable backpack brand or option. Given time the iBackPack could even become as common as the carry-on bags we see around today. And with the increased connectivity and mobility of our lifestyles i am sure we will begin to see more and more products like the iBackPack being develop. I can not wait to see how the iBackpack develops as well as other mayor brands product similar products.
Below is the video i mentioned at the begin of the hub which contains the suspicious comments about the project.
To the iBackPack 2.0 on Kickstarter