We have first known about the backpack with installed accumulators AMPL which has been announced by AMPL-labs Company as an “ideal backpack” for geeks in February of this year, when we have seen the official video commercial of the startup.
Then the “brief-case” stuffed with electronics which collected more than 200 000 dollars on portal IndieGoGo made the users laugh. Indeed, the new project deserved not a few claims. The high price of the novelty excited surprising, the power of accumulators and the idea itself were criticized.
Finally, the public “drained” the project quickly, as its market success was questioned.
But we believe the gadget is not so bad! Upon close examination, the cons become evident along with weighty pros. Portal Gadgets-Reviews is going to examine them for you right now. We have learned the AMPL presentation information and are ready to express our views.
"Smart" backpack AMPL: special features
The main purpose of the model is to allow a person burdened by a great deal of gadgets to transport and recharge them comfortably and at any required time. Also one will be able to control and manage charging by means of mobile application, and get notifications if the backpack has been forgotten somewhere, as the official description of the device tells.
All in all, 6 different devices may be connected. As for accumulators, they may be plugged in any outlet, using only one power cord which distributes energy for all accumulators.
Inside AMPL an 18,5 W*h accumulator is installed. Also you may additionally buy and install 3 accumulators with either 18,5 W*h capacity enough for recharging the tablet or that of 55 W*h enough for charging the notebook. The designers assure that cherished 18,5 W*h is enough to charge a phone thrice… . This is not quite true as you will see in the part “Model’s cons”. Now we go on.
The backpack is made from water resistant fabric. It can “breathe” so you don’t risk getting your back burned during charging the notebook. Overheating is very harmful!
All information about how charging goes on is passed wirelessly by Bluetooth LE 4.0 to a phone or a tablet. If the smart phone itself is discharged, the level of accumulator charge may be read on a special LED-display. The cost of a backpack with an accumulator is $249, and additional batteries will cost $49 and $119 depending on the capacity. You may place an order for AMPL on the site of Indiegogo.
Well, we have understood about special features … . Now it’s time to discuss pros and cons.
Pros of AMPL backpack
There are many factors that have been overlooked by the first backpack critics.
As for me, I like the “brief-case” ergonomics madly. According to the evidence of test video and photos, its design allows taking a gadget out easily. It’s fine! For often it is rather difficult to get a phone or note out of an ordinary backpack or bag. They scratch and clutch, the wires are messed up... Here every detail has been considered. One-two-three – and you have got what you wish!
Almost none of the reviewers have noticed that AMPL can protect gadgets against water as well as heavy snow, hits, and scratches. It’s clear that it can’t protect against a tank or a sledge-hammer hit.… In all other cases (such as falling, clutching, clashing) the system of a mobile “favorite” separate storing will do you a good turn. Each gadget is quite safe in its own pocket and, as a result, saves your nerves. It’s clear that the project authors have worked long on the backpack design, trying to create a structure optimal to carry gadgets inside.
AMPL backpack can protect itself! At least, against its owner’s forgetfulness. If a person has left it for a long time, he or she gets an alert by phone. It’s a good idea for absent-minded geeks!
Charging technology Qnovo is also noteworthy as it controls the inside of a battery in real time mode and adjusts the charging current correspondingly. The makers of the backpack write the following:
This intellectual adaptive charging allows batteries to “relax” and be recharged twice as fast as routine lithium-ion batteries. Also it doubles their expected useful life! Batteries can be charged from 0 to 80% per hour!
We have already mentioned the system of gadget natural cooling. Special openings in the fabric are added by interesting program solutions. If some device inside still gets overheated, the gadget will warn you of this: it will display the information on its main screen.
One more pro is a life-long warranty against any manufacturing defects from the developer. Have you bought a model with a serious defect? You may exchange it for another one the very moment you have discovered the defect. The following is true for all e-devices of a miracle sack: year warranty from the date of purchase. Well done, guys!
Cons of smart backpack
They were well scrutinized before. Nevertheless, we’ll also contribute our mite. The commonest claims are as follows:
First, the price list! The complete set AMPL costs almost 600 $. The most modest set costs more than 200 $.… Bear in mind that any customer can buy a Chinese backpack with a lot of pockets and “lard” it with good accumulators for far more modest sum. Of course, one can’t get a “speaking” display and the system against car theft for money like that…, however, the functionality of the device is very similar to AMPL! Surely, the “quick charging” ability is the main thing for many users. These people are more likely to buy the inexpensive product if they may.…
Second, advertising flaws! What the developers do tell about the “power of backpack” in their promo materials is not quite clear. They assure that an 18 W*h accumulator is able to recharge any phone thrice. This is …not quite correct! These figures are evidently of “apple” origin! This level of charge is probably sufficient for iPhone…but not all up-to-date phones will be able to recharge thrice from this sort of “base”. Some phones won’t be able to recharge even twice. Frankly speaking, the model’s accumulators are rather weak… . How to understand this? As an error? Or a conscious deception? Let the designers clear their conscience.
In addition, AMPL is comfortable not always. Passing through airport security, the owner of the backpack will be likely to meet a problem. Often chargers are prohibited for taking aboard. Border guards and security servicemen always find faults even with ordinary backpacks. As for a smart backpack, it lays oneself open. How should a customer behave in this sort of situation? The gadget is especially popular among travelers and it was designed for them, first of all. Besides, the official weight of the novelty is not known, it has not been indicated by the designers yet. Can it be too heavy?
Our last claim is referred to the date of release. Guys from AMPL-labs confess: the case could be delayed. They say, the delay could be due to uneasy procedures of product certification and components delivery, the necessity of design optimization, and the problem of assembling… . We can feel for them, but we also know that the market of cool gadgets is renovated rather often and their product can be fully forgotten very soon. So the public should be won in the months coming after crowd-funding company. Otherwise, they may be left with nothing.
We believe the gadget will find its audience. At least, in the USA and Europe. Maybe, in developing countries as well. But the novelty needs to be elaborated further, this is the condition of its long and happy life. Now users suppose a variety of ideas of device upgrading to AMPL-labs. Among other things they suppose the implantation of GPS-module, the introduction of universal chargers and connectors, the transformation of the backpack into stand for the laptop, the development of game software for this gadget…. Some of these recommendations may be ignored, but others may turn out to be trump cards played by the team of developers.
At any rate, the developers have to go further, otherwise they will be beaten by dozens of cheap Chinese analogues of their creature. In for a penny in for a pound! How else!