The ZT Backpack

Zach Rosenberg

Winter 2012- Session 1/4

The ZT Backpack was a two-week project done by Tyler Monaghan, Zachary Rosenberg, and Zachary Steinberg. The aim of the project was to make an innovative fashion piece that teenagers would have an interest in. Most backpacks these days have nothing new but the shape; thus, the team wanted to make one that stood above the rest.

While many of the other teams constructed basic clothing like dresses and jackets, this group wanted to design a functioning accessory that was not as easily constructed. The ZT Backpack consists of three main parts; built-in speakers, audio responsive LED lights, and voice recognition software. The voice recognition tool lets you orally change music and make calls using an iPhone plugged into the bag. All sound and music will be played throughout the three speakers and the LEDs will light up accordingly with the music. A device called an Arduino board controlled all of the components and allowed them to function. 

Each member split into their own section when it was time to build the backpack. Monaghan had the job of assembling the electronics and soldering the LEDs. Rosenberg assembled the backpack by assembling fabric and accessories after a number of prototypes, and Steinberg programmed the Arduino.

As part of the project, the crew had the idea to install LED blinker lights, as seen on automobiles, into the sides of the bag. Part of the reaction the team realized after their presentation was that the blinkers were one of the most interesting components to the audience. The crowd was astounded by the innovative idea to make activities like walking and biking more safe and enjoyable.

The team was very happy with their work on the project and they plan to think of new ideas to possibly incorporate in the future. There may even be commercial opportunities for the product as the group learned after giving their final presentation to a group of students, faculty and parents from the Beaver Country Day School.