Traveling can be fun or annoying, and sometimes certainly both. While traveling, all kinds of things can ruin the mood; over-packing (and the ensuing fees), losing your luggage, or running the distance of a marathon between all your gates and all your connections, dragging around a heavy suitcase the whole time. Thanks to advances in technology, a number of startups are offering smart luggage that can take a lot of the unfortunate torture out of travel. From foldability and GPS tracking to built-in weight scales and robot bags that follow you around like good puppy, here are a few smart luggage solutions to consider for your next trip:
Barracuda is collapsible luggage. BAM! The founders say it takes about 10 second to completely fold down the 8.5lbs bag into its compact, even-more-portable state. Another unique feature is a built-in tray, helpful for business travelers who need something other than their lap on which to prop their laptop while catching up on work.
Barracuda also includes: a portable weight scale, a GPS tracker (activated by downloading the companion app) and USB charger (said to fully charge most smartphones up to five times). Both the scale and tracker, however, are not built into the luggage. On Barracuda.co, you can stock up for $299 per bag–it’s an additional $50 for the tracker.
Hands free traveling is a primary feature of the Cowarobot, and its app; it’s trying to take the “lugging around” out of the luggage experience. This fully autonomous smart suitcase comes equipped with sensors that detect the environment, registering and reacting to obstacles in its path, like stairs and sidewalk drop-offs. Each user is also provided with a customized bracelet that links to the suitcase sensor system to ensure that it’s following the right owner.
The Cowarobot moves at 4.5 mph, and on a full charge can travel up to 12.5 miles. The app will alert users if they are too far from their luggage, and it will find its way back to a user in the unfortunate case of separation. The Cowarobot will retail for approximately $699–pre-orders are very sold out on their Indiegogo campaign.
Modobag is a bag that you can ride like a little scooter. The speed goes up to 8mph, which is three times as fast as a normal walking pace. Crowding and traffic in airports is already challenging for many travelers, and having people riding motorized bags around may be an issue for travelers and the airport authorities. But still, you’re riding a motorized suitcase–who doesn’t want to play bumper-cars while waiting for their US Airways jet to find its second wing?
The rideable suitcase also comes equipped with dual USB connection ports, LED lights, releasable foot pegs, telescopic handle bars and GPS tracking capabilities (available at an additional cost of $69). It is designed to last up to three hours on a single charge (fully charges in one-hour). The bag also complies with carry-on regulations, and is TSA and FAA compliant. Modobag is 22x9x14, and weighs 19lbs. – the max rider weight is 260lbs. The rideable bag is priced at $1,095 on Indiegogo.com, and is estimated to ship in January 2017.
This suitcase and app duo allows users to control functions of their smartphone directly from the bag’s app-connected smart handle, including: pick up calls, receive notifications, play music and compose voice-to-text messages. Floatti was designed with a docking strap and integrated hooks for extra backpacks, or accessories. The luggage also comes equipped with a detachable gadget compartment, which aims to simplify a user’s experience through airport security. Floatti also includes an integrated weight scale, and tracker.
The suitcase is available in six colors, and two sizes; 21.5×13.8×8.27 (8.27lbs) and 26.8×17.9×9.6 (9.9lbs); the carry-on size is available on Indiegogo.com for $320, and the check-in bag is $360. Both come with a 10-year warranty, and are planned to ship December 2016.
Like the Cowarobot, Travelmate is an autonomous suitcase that automatically follows its owner when connected to its companion app. The suitcase can move while vertical or horizontal, and has built-in sensors that help avoid people and objects in its path. Travelmate even comes equipped with a speaker that will notify you if any obstacle is in the way, and LED indicator lights that tell you what direction the luggage is going. The luggage has a battery life of 4 hours and lasts up to 100 hours in standby mode.
Overall, the motor and components take up less than 5 percent of the suitcase’s volume, so packing space is less of an issue. A removable battery is also included and could be used to charge smartphones. The luggage is available in three different sizes, and prices start at $399. Travelmate’s Indiegogo campaign has raised just over $12,000 on a $4,000 goal and there is a bit more than three weeks left in the fundraising.
Bluesmart luggage is another feature-rich, app-connected piece of smart luggage that seems to hit all the key concerns. The suitcase offers features such as: location tracking, separation notification, a built-in scale, remote digital lock, and it includes a battery for cell-phone charging. The 9.4 lbs suitcase is 22x14x9 and meets all international carry-on limitations. The design includes an easy-access front compartment to quickly store and remove electronic devices. On their website, pricing starts at $449 per bag, and the company offers a 2-year warranty at no additional charge.
Unlike Barracuda and Modobag, Raden is designed with an integrated scale, among a few other smart-tricks (like the now-standard built-in charger). Paired with its app, Raden allows users to track their baggage (near and far) and receive information related to their trip, like security wait times and travel time to the airport.
Raden smart luggage is available in two different sizes; 22 in (8.4lbs) or 28 in (13lbs). The suitcase also includes two built-in USB ports, and a security lock. On Raden.com the small luggage is priced at $295 each, and the large is $395; both are available in 10 different colors.
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