File this one under “great idea for Christmas or Birthday” because for many women the gift of a handbag is a winner on its own, so when it’s something a bit unique there’s even more points on offer. Aussie company Lorna & Bel have released their first in what looks set to be a range of fashion-tech products with the smart bag that will charge a smartphone on the go.
It’s actually quite a simple concept, and many of us carry a power-bank or portable battery around to give our phone a bit of juice when the day is long so selling one with a bag is easy. Incorporating it into the design of the bag is something altogether different.
Aussie mums Lorna Swinstead and Bel Wood got cracking on a design that works on all levels and their first bag – the “Ava”
I’m reliably informed by Lorna & Bel themselves that this is what’s known as a “cross body” bag, no, not a term I’d heard or used before.
Inside there are slots for your pens, zips for your cards or small items and a pretty decent space for a few odds and ends and a purse. But it’s what’s in the back zipper that interested me.
A 5,000mAh battery. The back pocket is made specifically for it, with a little holster to keep it in place and upright so you’ve got easy access to the cables, but perhaps most ingeniously the charging cable for your phone can be threaded out and into a back pocket for your smartphone.
That means the smartphone can be accessed without opening the whole bag.
Included is a cable to re-charge the battery, as well as a microUSB cable for your smartphone. There’s also a nifty little microUSB to lightning adaptor which means an iPhone can also be charged without needing a different cable.
The bag itself is made from quality grain leathers and suedes and feels to me like bloody good quality, and it would want to be for the $399 asking price.
I found it interesting the quality they’ve put into the battery – given that it’s made to be “built-in” – but in fact, it’s a bit fancy perhaps to ensure it can be taken and used separately to the bag, but I wonder if more than a few dollars could be shaved off the cost price and RRP for a more “bland” battery which would stay hidden.
The battery will re-charge in 3.5 hours and 5,000mAh’s is enough to recharge most smartphones twice.
For a first product, it’s more than well done, its exceptional – you can only imagine how this can and will grow for Lorna & Bell as a range over the coming months and years.