RiutBag: Seemingly Rubbish Name for a Remarkable Sack
Why do inventors insist on giving their products short, incomprehensible names? A closer look at the next generation of backpack on Kickstarter in Britain
The first thing tech lovers ask when reading about RiutBag is "how do I pronounce that?" - before manoeuvring their mouths to sound Roo-It, Ree-Ut or another of the possible pronunciations.
It's a different scene altogether when they see the RiutBag. Then the question is: "Where are all the zips, and how can I get inside?” It turns out there are no zips on the outer shell; they are all the rear of the bag, neatly protected by the wearer's back.
I predict a Riut
According to the RiutBag inventor Riut is pronounced "riot". It's not only the name of her company, it's her positive and disruptive design philosophy. She has revolved the body of the backpack to make our city travel calmer, clear our minds of suspicion with the goal of letting us better adapt to urban life.
Sarah insists this is for the hardy-commuter or as intrepid explorer's day-bag - though it would do pretty well in a pre-apocalyptic riot too... Even the easily-accessibly bottle holders that sit flush within the bag's design could aid survival - on the commute or a worst case scenario.
So, why make it so hard for the rest of us to say the name? It turns out Riut isn't such a bad name after all. It's Sarah's mantra for everything the company does: an acronym for Revolution In User Thinking. Not only has the body of the backpack been revolved to suit the urban user, Sarah revolves all her thinking around the urban user and hopes the RiutBag user will be able to free up users' minds to come up with the next new innovation on their commute of travel. So Riut - of Revolution in user thinking - is fundamental, explanatory and promises a lot for future RiutBag users.
Designed to discreetly secure commuters' belongings in a stylish backpack, it's also pleasing to see the bag doesn't pander to gender stereotypes: the MacBook pro of backpacks, the RiutBag is minimalistic, comes in one colour and is unisex in design.
Riut has other similarities to Apple. Sarah sees the backpack as the perfect canvas for future innovation. Having now turned the backpack the "Riut" way round, she wants to start making bigger steps. Get ready for flexible solar, light weight tech, chargers run on solar and kinetic energy and programmable or 4D materials. On BBC radio this week, Sarah confirmed: "Right up until the day that teleportation becomes accessible to all making bags a thing of the past, Riut will be revolving simple and effective design around the urban user."
The RiutBag combines form and functionality but especially in the context of the city. Designed to appear professional yet not ostentatious; it has the all-important 15" laptop and tablet holder, 20 litre carrying capacity, as well as compartments for an A4 notepad and separate pouch for your smaller personal belongings.
RiutBag is constructed to be fully waterproof and hard-wearing, thanks to its Kevlar shell and inner foam-lining of Cordura. The RiutBag answers our desire for a smart yet discrete and theft-deterring backpack to protect data-laden tech and valuables on a daily basis. As well as hiding the zips, the design includes discrete pockets on the shoulder-straps for keeping travel tickets and other small items close-to-hand.
Will we all start wearing our bags the Riut way round? Riut looks set for bigger things for sure. It's on Kickstarter in its final week, currently 172% funded with over 800 backers. With its official online launch coming in summer 2015, look out for more from Riut, the RiutBag and Sarah Giblin!
About Riut: Based in commuter hub Reading, Riut stands for Revolution in user thinking. 1000 commuters answered Riut's rucksack surveys earlier this year which helped inform the design and style of RiutBag.