HOW A BACKPACK MADE FRIENDS
When I got my solar-powered backpack from Voltaic a few years ago, I bought it for the sole purpose of charging my phone when I was on the go. Prepurchase, I frequently ran into the problem of having my cellphone battery die on me while traveling or walking around town. It was a very frustrating problem, and I really needed a solution. The Voltaic backpack soaks up the sun’s rays through a photovoltaic panel on the back, stores the energy in a battery in a pocket, and then uses that battery to charge devices like cell phones, iPods, and laptops. It even comes with adapters for all major brands of phones.
When I got my backpack, I expected it to charge my gadgets, but I didn’t expect all the conversations it sparked as I carried it around. The solar panels on the back of it make it look like a space-age, high-tech gizmo, and people who see it are curious.
The first time I carried the backpack through an airport, at least five people (other passengers, security workers, people in the airport) went out of their way to approach me and ask me about the backpack: “What does it do?” “What is that?” “How does that work?” I was used to less-than-pleasant experiences with security personnel in airports, so imagine my surprise when suddenly security guards were smiling at me and genuinely interested in talking with me for a moment.
I soon discovered that this conversation-starting quality of the solar backpack extended well past airports. When I carry my bag down a street in New York City, someone inevitably comes up to me to inquire about it. I quickly realized this was a great attention-getting tactic. Now I just carry the backpack whenever I am feeling extroverted and want an excuse to talk to people! It’s a great accessory for conferences and trade shows and is guaranteed to break the ice with even the busiest executives.