An ordinary backpack is so basic. The big zipper gives way to a space, and you throw your laptop and books into it and then sling it over your shoulders. Lame. Clearly, the only way to really rock a backpack is if it's electric and has a built-in skateboard.
The creators of Movpak, an electric vehicle and backpack in one, were motivated by a person's ordinary commute. What's one thing all worker bees have in common in the morning? They need a place to put all of their stuff.
"Movpak is the first backpack that can carry everything you need for the day, and [even carries] yourself at the same time," says Ivo Machado, the company's chief marketing officer and cofounder. "It unfolds in one movement into an electric vehicle that goes up to 20 mph with a wireless remote. No fumes, no wires, no damage to the environment."
The size and function of the pack make it easy to get around.
Machado is quick to explain that at its core, Movpak is an ordinary book bag. "You can unzip it and put stuff inside and carry it on your back," he says. "Inside, you’ll also find the board. Pull a lever, and it will come out. You control the throttle and break using a wireless remote that comes with it."
Because the bag runs on electricity, it basically works like any other device: You plug it in to charge it. Once it's fully juiced up, you can also charge your own devices on the go. It's like an external battery pack that you wear on your back (and can stand on).
The company is based locally, and because the Magic City is full of daily commuters, Machado took to his hometown to film the introductory video. Along with a team, he directed and shot the promo throughout the streets of Miami. You'll notice familiar places, such as the American Airlines Arena, Bayfront Park, Wynwood, the Metremover, and other iconic locales.
Aside from convenience, Machado says of the filming location: "Miami is well located between the markets we want to reach."
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Miami New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Miami's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
If you're one of the millions (gazillions?) of social media users, you probably saw an image circulating on your newsfeed in the past two weeks about a book bag that turns into a skateboard. The video has been featured on popular Facebook pages such as Futurism and NowThis. Machado estimates an exposure of more than 10 million views across social networks.
That magical, invisible social reach translated well for the cofounder and his team. Within the first week of launching their IndieGoGo campaign, they surpassed their goal by 200 percent. As of this article's writing, they've reached their initial goal of $50,000 by 305 percent (that's a total of $152,611).
The greatest appeal is its simplicity. It's handy to have your backpack roll you to class or work. "The great thing about Movpak is that it's a personal vehicle that can carry all you need for the day and solve the last-mile problem: getting you to the next station or even allowing you move around campus," Machado says.
Currently collecting funds via an IndieGoGo campaign. A donation of $699 will secure you a Movpak (once on the market, they will retail for $1,200). There are 21 days left to back the campaign. Visit movpak.com.