POKIT, a Los Angeles-based startup founded by designer Tanner Wills and engineer Tyler Johnson, has launched the POKIT™ crossbody sling bag, which can wirelessly charge users’ Qi-compatible smartphones, allowing them to stay charged in the moment.
The POKIT™ bag has an exterior phone pocket that has an integrated wireless charger, eliminating the need for unwieldy cables. It is powered by an internal removable 5000 mAh power pack, providing up to 2 full charges. The power pack can be re-charged directly through the bag utilizing the included USB-C cable. Users can start charging their device instantly by pressing the button on the power pack and inserting their phone into the designated charging pocket within the 30-second pairing period.
Aside from its charging capabilities, the POKIT™ also has excellent form and function qualities. The exterior is made from water-resistant polyurethane-backed nylon in cobalt black color, and it has a stylish and slim profile design. The zippers for both the phone pocket and the main compartment have anti-theft features, with a secret pocket for valuables within the main compartment. The strap, which is adjustable and can be worn cross-body style or around the waist, features POKIT’s logo in reflective material, providing high visibility when walking or biking at night. POKIT™ is also lightweight and has a max capacity of 1.25 L, with more than enough room to fit your daily essentials.
POKIT™ is perfect for people with active and connected lifestyles and can be used for various activities, such as hiking, traveling, and attending music festivals, while keeping users’ phones charged and ensuring their valuables are safe and away from prying eyes.
According to the founders, who are lifelong friends, the idea for POKIT™ came when they noticed someone struggling to find their portable charger and cable in the depths of their bag, causing the person to miss out on the moment at hand. This inspired them to create a product that can keep smartphones charged and running while on the go, without the inconvenience of dealing with cables, which can get snagged or damaged in crowded places.
“We made a prototype in 2019, where we took a battery pack and a Qi charger that would normally be on a desk, ripped them apart and then soldered them together. We definitely zapped ourselves a few times in the process, but that’s what happens when you’re learning,” Johnson said.
Wills and Johnson began research and development on creating POKIT™ as a commercial product in April 2020. In July 2021, they launched a funding campaign on a major crowdfunding website, and they eventually surpassed their funding goal of $15,000 before the campaign ended in September of that year. By late 2021, production was completed and the first batch of orders were shipped out to customers across the US.
POKIT™ Product Image
In January of 2021 POKIT Founders, Tanner Wills and Tyler Johnson were accepted into the Arizona State University’s Venture Devils Program which supports ASU Alumni, Students and community entrepreneurs run by the J. Orin Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute. On April 29, they competed to earn seed funding for innovative solutions during the Demo Day competition at SkySong, the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center. On Demo Day POKIT Founders pitched and won $10,000 in award money from the Sarsam Family Venture Challenge and, according to Wills, will go toward “market share and expanding operations.”
“As an industrial designer I aim to design experiences and products that are frictionless. When done correctly the technology blends into the background and the benefits of the product are brought to the forefront. This is exactly what we achieved with POKIT™,” Wills says.