Back to school special Members of MIT’s class of 2021 get a free backpack — and a glimpse at the future of “smart” fabrics.

As part of this year’s freshman orientation at MIT, new students encountered the typical lineup of takeaways: booklets and brochures, a list of 101 things to do before they graduate, lots of T-shirts, pens, etc. For the first time, however, they were also given a completely new version of the old campus staple: the backpack.

Back to school special : Members of MIT’s class of 2021 get a free backpack — and a glimpse at the future of “smart” fabrics