With most of us relying on our phones, laptops and tablets for an array of things in our day to day lives, the need and want for wearable technology only seems like the next step. There has been a recent peak of interest and advancement in wearable tech – increased perhaps through the introduction of Google Glass and the Apple Watch – and it is only logical that this is now beginning to branch out into the fashion world.
Have you ever reached the middle of the day and your phone needs charging? Let’s face it, who hasn’t! But aside from carrying endless leads and wires around with us, it has merely been a fact of everyday lives.
The Leoht Tote offers the solution – using wearable technology in a fashionable, stylish way.
The tote is the result of a Kickstarter campaign from New York start-up company Leoht (pronounced lay-oat) and is the latest in wearable tech handbags. It trounces its competitors with the tote’s stylish and sleek looks and has the appearance of a luxury handbag, while providing a multitude of uses.
The bag is designed with a 6000 mAh rechargeable battery, discreetly hidden and lasts up to 30 days on standby. There is also a power panel which displays the on/off button, battery indicator and micro USB ports at either end of the bag. It features interior and exterior lights to save you from rummaging at the bottom of your bag for your phone or important document. The bag’s internal battery also recharges wirelessly via its charging plate or through one of the USB cables, if you are on the go.
Carrying all this valuable technology around with you may make you feel a tad vulnerable but there is a hidden compartment, the Alcove, which gives you added security, peace of mind and provides a place where you can keep valuable items hidden from view.
The bag weighs around 2lbs when empty and measures 11” high, 16.2” wide and 6.75” deep. The Leoht tote is currently only available in black or cognac – read nude/tan – and prices range from $350 to $375 (around £224 – £240), although if you pre-order now they are discounting $100 (£64) from the price. They currently only deliver to the US, Canada and the UK and hope to start shipping by October this year.
Is there anything else like this on the market?
There a few alternatives to the tote in the pipeline, but these are not currently available on the market.
The Solar Handbag, created by the Danish design studio DIFFUS, offers many of the same features as the Leoht tote, such as the ability to charge and the internal lights. The bag is powered by solar panel sequins on the front, and the company claim that it will charge a phone without much sunlight – so perfect for those dull, English days.
Unfortunately the bag does not offer the sleek and designer feel of the tote and DIFFUS haven’t announced pricing or availability yet, so it’s difficult to fully compare between products.
The Sun Trap bag is a concept created by design student, Rosanna Kilfedder which once again uses solar panels to generate power to charge a phone. The bag also lights up when unzipped and automatically powers off when zipped closed.
Whilst somewhat more stylish than the Solar Handbag, this is currently just a prototype, but Kilfedder hopes to be able to market it at some point in the future.
The Leoht Tote is one of the better wearable tech handbags currently on the market, with the emphasis being on fashion, with technology having to blend into this – rather than the other way around. The biggest downside (but obviously one that cannot yet be avoided) is the weight of the bag. At empty it is still quite heavy, and with the intention to add phones, tablets, purses etc. into it, it will only get heavier.
The tote initially seems quite costly, but for an item described as luxury and for the amount of technology supplied, it offers good value for money. The company have also said that when the battery needs replacing (every 2-3 years), simply return the bag to them and they will do this free of charge.