Coming Soon: An Ultra-Lightweight Backpack That "Floats" While You Carry It

iStock
iStock

Sometimes the most strenuous part of hiking is not the distance or altitude covered, but the heavy load you’re hauling around all day. Now, one company wants to take the backache out of hiking—and commuting, too.

As spotted by New Atlas, the forthcoming HoverGlide backpack by Lightning Packs is being billed as the “world’s first floating backpack.” The bag part is attached to a sliding rail and pulley suspension system, which allows it to bounce up and down on your back while you move around. It purportedly reduces the impact and strain on your back by up to 90 percent, letting you walk or run with relative ease.

The design is based on a 2006 study from the University of Pennsylvania, which found that bouncing backpacks can make a 59.5-pound load feel 11 pounds lighter. That's because they move out of step with your gait, canceling out the movement and eliminating the need to constantly lift the load as you move. And less energy equals more endurance, according to the backpack’s creators.

A fundraising campaign for the HoverGlide will be launched on Kickstarter in September. Four varieties of the backpack will be available: a 55-pound “Trekker” backpack for hiking and camping, a smaller “Hiker” for shorter outdoor excursions, a 25-lb “Commuter” backpack for regular daily use, and a “Tactical” backpack with a tough shell and webbing “for the military types out there,” according to New Atlas.

[h/t New Atlas]

22 Whimsical Clear Phone Cases That Let You Show Off Your Favorite Art

Society6
Society6

It seems like Society6 is constantly coming up with more and more products that you can get emblazoned with your favorite artists' work. From notebooks to shower curtains, we're getting to a point where an entire apartment can be covered in artful sloths. And so can your phone.

The art print site's clear iPhone cases are transparent and incorporate the look of the phone underneath into the design. Often, the patterns look like stickers, but with the advantage of never peeling. The protective cases come in two versions: slim (a frosted plastic case) or tough (a two-piece, impact resistant case) and are available for $36 for iPhone 6 and later.

We collected all our favorite designs to give you a quick look at what's available.

1. WITCHCRAFT

2. BANANA!!

3. MY SLEEPY PET

4. FRIDA KAHLO

5. PUG YOGA

6. UNICORN LAND

7. NATURE WALKS

8. SNEAKY CAT

9. CACTUS OUTFIT

10. FLY ME TO THE MOON

11. GOLDEN CELESTIAL BUGS

12. HAMMERHEADS

13. I SHOW YOU THE STARS

14. FOR THE TREES

15. SKELETON

16. GREEN AND BLACK GARDEN WITH RED FLOWERS

17. CAT'S EYES

18. BABY AXOLOTL

19. SOLAR SYSTEM

20. BEAR GARDEN

21. TRICKSTERS

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A version of this story first ran in 2017. It has been updated to reflect current availabilty.

Boston-Area Students Convince their City to Install 3D Crosswalks

iStock.com/olaser
iStock.com/olaser

Motorists driving through Medford, Massachusetts may notice something unusual on the street outside Brooks Elementary School. On April 22, the city installed a new pedestrian crosswalk painted to look like 3D objects raised from the ground. The new crossing path aims to make the intersection safer, and it's one of several set to debut around Medford, Curbed reports.

By painting additional, shaded shapes around the traditional white strips of a crosswalk, the city was able to create an optical illusion for drivers. From far away, the flat shapes look like blocks in the middle of the street. The effect is meant to make drivers slow down before they reach the crossing, and to make them more alert to pedestrians in the area.

Two students—a fourth- and a fifth-grader—worked with their teacher and the Brooks Center for Citizenship and Social Responsibility to convince the city to add the safety feature. The 3D walkway, designed by Boston artist Nate Swain, will be painted outside three other elementary schools in the city.

Medford is the first city in the Boston area to experiment with 3D crosswalks, but the illusion has been used for years in other parts of the world. In 2016, Shakuntala Pandya and her daughter Saumya Pandya Thakkar designed their own version of the blocks for a highway in Ahmedabad, India, and in Chicago, the crosswalks have been around for nearly a decade.

[h/t Curbed]

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