I would not have thought a backpack with wheels would actually work for backpacking, but when I look at the website for "Wheelpacker" (TM), I was impressed. You wear a frame that attaches you to pack wheels. It can even go into the wood and stone. This started me thinking about what other backpacking innovations are just waiting to be marketed. Here are some things I came up with. Stealing ideas, please.
<b> Inflatable Frame Backpack </ b>
With frame-less backpacks we often put folded sleeping pads in the pack for cushioning against our backs and some support for the load. Why not just have a part of the package the user touches the back expands. With the same technology used for lightweight self-inflating sleeping bag pads, it would only add about six ounces. Backpack could then double as foot-bag/pad to sleep.
Taking this idea further, I imagine self-inflating backpack that folds out into bedding. Backpack "frame" will pad, in the form of "U" for some rigidity in the pack. Self-inflating sleeping pads bag as light as 14 ounces now, and frame less pack 12 ounces, so the combination could probably be made to weigh just 20 ounces.
Wax Paper Bags <b> Food </ b>
Put backpacking food in wax-paper packaging instead of plastic. The packages then double as emergency fire starter, since wax paper will usually burn even when wet.
<b> Pillow / Waterbag </ b>
When I need to carry more water I use a plastic bladder from the wine box. They are lightweight, strong, and I inflate the bag with air to use as a pillow too. To market a dual-purpose water container / pillow, it just needs a soft removable covering of some sort.
Backpack Jacket <b> </ b>
Why not frame-less backpack with a jacket that is part of the pack? It can be folded out of the way, and the package will have a normal shoulder strap. When wearing a jacket, though, it will stabilize the pack, keeps you warm, and makes it easy to push through heavy brush, as it will not catch the things easily. It is something like wearing a large jacket over a backpack, but the weight savings and the stability that comes from combining them. It could be called "Pack-it Jacket."
<b> Backpacking Games </ b>
Printing a chess / checkers board on a jacket or backpack, and you have a carry-along game that weighs nothing extra. Great to spend hours in the tent waiting out the rain. If you do not bring that piece, rock or fir trees can work as a checker.
Backpacking gear ideas and innovations keep coming to my head as I write this. Largely based on the idea of item "dual purpose". They may work, some may not, but it is an entertaining dose of inspiration from a backpack with wheels.