"Smart-Luggage": Will GPS-Tracking, USB charging stations and automotive be the future of suitcases?
1994 Pulp Fiction: Vincent (John Travolta) and Jules (Samuel L. Jackson) have to recover Marsellus Wallace's (Ving Rhames) stolen briefcase. Even though you see it being opened several times during the movie, you never actually find out what's inside. The only clue is an orange light beaming out of the briefcase.
25 Years later it wouldn't only be easier to find the stolen case, we now also know what's inside: A whole lot of technology! GPS Tracking, USB charging stations plus it's automotive. That's the future suitcase!
Somehow this sounds like James Bond. Who would have thought that Q's little tricks and toys would find their way into the suitcase and trolley world? Innovations like automotive travel suitcases and trolleys, tablet charging stations and location tracking for the suitcase could soon become a standard. We've chosen 5 suitcases for you:
Case number 1)
"Ovis" by ForwardX
At CES 2019, ForwardX, a company specializing in artificial intelligence, presented the latest version of its smart suitcase, which magically follows its owner.
Once configured accordingly, the self-propelled "Ovis" suitcase follows its owner at every turn and reaches a speed up to 10 kilometres per hour, thanks to its integrated AI. The capacity is 32 litres and therefore offers plenty of space. Also practical: the Ovis can independently measure how heavy the load is, which should be particularly advantageous when flying, in order not to exceed the maximum weight. According to the manufacturer, the built-in battery lasts up to four hours and recharges in about three. However, this high technology also has its price: The ForwardX Ovis starts at 799 Euros.
Suitcase number 2)
Red Dot Design Winner - Xtend
The lightweight Xtend can be taken on-board an aircraft as a carry on, but its size can be increased vertically by 50 percent with a simple handle. A biometric fingerprint-lock secures the suitcase. Devices up to 15" can be stowed in the two hidden laptop flaps or in an easily accessible back pocket. Three types of USB sockets, type A and C are built in the upper handle. Thanks to wheels, which have double ball bearings, the case can be moved extremely quietly.
Statement of the Red Dot Jury:
A winning innovation of the Xtend is its extreme versatility. The well thought-out functions score with user-friendly details.
Suitcase number 3)
CabinsTrolley M5 from Horizn Studios
Which features does it have? What can it do?
The M5 has a removable Powerbank - allowed by all airlines in your hand-luggage. You also receive a free Horizn GO access for one year.
It features high-end 360° swivel castors from Japan, a hard shell made of premium German polycarbonate, a water-repellent front pocket for a laptop up to 15" in size, a built-in room divider for compression and a nylon laundry bag is included.
Suitcase number 4)
The San Francisco based company's Travelmate is autonomous and can drive itself independently. This works in a similar way to a self-sufficient car. Sensors ensure that the suitcase avoids obstacles and when turning corners, the LEDs even flash.
This is how the smart luggage works:
To use the case, the owner must connect to an app. The Travelmate's location and weight are also displayed there. This smart luggage can also be controlled by voice or gesture.
The Travelmate is powered by a battery. This will enable the suitcase to travel for around four hours - at a maximum speed of 10 km/h. Practical feature: With the built-in battery, you are able to charge your smartphone.
The battery should last 4 hours in "Autonomous mode" - the battery percentage is indicated with LEDs.
A crowdfunding campaign has just started at Indiegogo to finance the project. The price begins at 399 US dollars.
Suitcase number 5)
"Space Case 1" of the Planet Traveler brand
Another innovation is the smart case "Space Case 1" from Planet Traveler. This trolley can be opened and closed with a biometric fingerprint. Another gadget that is integrated is the bluetooth speaker feature for music playback and phone calls.
The more commonly known suitcase brands Samsonite and Rimowa also offer “smart-luggage”. For example the Samsonite GeoTrakr with an integrated locating system. If you have a weakness for technology and knick-knack that might be something for you as well. A little deficit is the additional weight of at least 4kg per luggage. Rimowa, the aluminium suitcase brand merely offers an electronic-tag with which you can check in your luggage at home using the airline's app.