What inspires an invention? They say necessity is the mother of all invention. For Adrian Solgaard the tipping point for the creation of his new invention, a solar powered back pack, came when his friend was the victim of a crime. We met over Skype for a quick chat.
Vicki McLeod: How did this come to be? You’ve developed a solar powered, lockable back pack which can fit all of your day to day mobile office and work needs. That’s pretty amazing!
Adrian Solgaard: I first had the idea in 2005 when I was 18, I was travelling on a train and I needed to sleep. I was irritated by the idea that I had to wrap my luggage around me to prevent it from being stolen by thieves. But it wasn’t until 2015 when I was sitting with a friend having a drink, our bags where on the floor between our chairs and my friend’s bag was stolen, that it tipped me over the edge! I started to source and prototype ideas, contacted factories and worked on getting the product exactly right. When I had finished the prototype I started on “Real World Testing” and got a tonne of consumer feedback. Now we’re in the middle of our Kickstarter campaign.
VMC: Why a Kickstarter campaign? What is it?
AS: It’s a way to get pre-orders for the bag, it’s enabled us to gauge the reaction of the general public, and raise funds. It means that we will be in production this year with the bag as we have reached our initial goals.
VMC: Wow, that’s so exciting! So when can customers expect to have the bag in their hands?
AS: If you have pledged money on the Kickstarter campaign then you will have the bag in October.
VCM: How is the Kickstarter campaign going?
AS: Really well, we’ve met our targets, now we are doing what’s called “Stretch Goals” which means that we can unlock more options on the bag, by offering more colours for example. You can still order one.
VMC: What’s so special about the bag?
AS: We’re saying that we´ve reinvented the mobile office.
VMC: Big claim!
AS: Well, it’s got a solar power bank which can keep your phone alive via a USB charger, everyone’s phones run out of charge just at the crucial moment, but with this bag you won’t be stranded. You don’t have to worry about your smartphone battery dying, you can have it on charge in the bag. You can get up to 12 charges for an iPhone 6, but it’s compatible with any USB charging device.
It’s also got an integrated lock which means you can keep the bag locked up and keeps your stuff secure. The separate compartments inside the bag are for your work and life, so you can separate your work life from your underwear, nobody wants to get their socks out at a meeting do they?!
Then when you’re out at the beach you can use the Bluetooth speakers to play your music. The lock also has a bottle opener on it, which is helpful when you’re having a beer at the beach as well! The bag is weather resistant, and drop resistant (there are internal protective air cells to keep your laptop safe), and super organised. We’ve also designed it to have four hidden compartments so when you are travelling you can keep your important documents close to you and not worry about them being lost or stolen. The bag’s zippers are also lockable. And another feature is the RFID protected pockets which keeps your credit cards and passport safe from identity theft.
VMC: How much can you stuff in there then? I know I have to have at least three bags wherever I go! One for the gym, one for work and a handbag.
AS: Well I can pack two shirts, two pairs of underpants, two pairs of socks, a tie, a belt, shampoo and lotion, toothpaste, deodorant, cologne, a passport, sunglasses, swim shorts, goggles, the solar bank and speakers in the back, and a 15″ laptop, charger, mouse, two notebooks, three pens, headphones, my smart phone, glasses case, keys, wallet, loose change, USB charger and cables, loos papers, receipts, business cards and a banana in the front!
VMC: That more or less covers it! What about the kitchen sink? This isn’t the first time you’ve invented something useful is it?
AS: No, I’m also responsible for the Interlock which won four international design awards and has been distributed to twenty eight countries. That experience has meant that I’ve been able to get the Lifepack to this stage much more efficiently. There are two other people in the team with me who are crucial as well, Ashley and Chris, so between the three of us we’ve done well.
VMC: What’s your connection to Majorca?
AS: I’ve lived on the island, right now I am travelling around a lot to get the Lifepack into production, but I hope I will be back soon. A lot of my friends who live in Majorca feature in the product promotional photos and we used Majorca as the location for the shoot. Majorca’s the perfect place for a Lifepack, so many people blend work with life and are on the move, it makes perfect sense.
You can read more about Adrian and his invention at: sweetbackpackbro.com
To read more articles about Majorca visit http://www.mallorcamatters.com