As our society seems to grow more tech-enhanced by the minute, so too are we burdened with more gadgets that represent extensions of our bodies (not to mention a host of newfangled gestures and body language). Citing water and impact as the major weaknesses of electronic devices, Luke Mastrangelo recently designed a backpack that offers protection from both, based on a distinctive form factor that follows from its polycarbonate skeleton. "What we carry, why we carry and how we carry has changed dramatically. Prism is a personal project, reflecting on this notion; seeking to answer both a digital and analog challenge."
The 1000D cordura nylon and embedded solar panels aren't breakthroughs by any means, but combined with the internal polycarbonate frame and thoughtful details, the Prism represents a nicely executed personal project, largely unconstrained by manufacturing considerations. Regarding the construction, Mastrangelo told us
The polycarbonate frame was CNC cut out of a sheet of 1/4" thick Lexan, and bent into shape on a cold-steel bender. It's entirely removable, which was a manufacturing decision to simplify the sewing process. Basically the fabric skin is stretched taught over the frame, and then zipped up around it, which keeps the whole system in tension, providing a tesseract of sorts for your laptop/tablet on the inside (think old school egg-drop style). The backpack is 100% functional, the lights, solar charger, rain-proofing, etc.
As we saw with Crumpler's laptop bag, the laptop compartment can be accessed from the side for the sake of expediency.
Moreover, inasmuch as Mastrangelo empathizes with my woes as a bicycle commuter, he made a full-scale mockup for fit testing prior to actually producing the final prototype. (The integrated LED piping is also a nice touch.)
The taped seams and zippers are also a nice touch.
Mastrangelo learned how to sew and embed electronics in order to produce the final product, but I'd be curious if the process is scalable, lest the Prism remain a one-off...