A new smart suitcase stands out amid a sea of unhelpful Internet of Things devices.
Few travel experiences are as frustrating as losing a bag, but Silicon Valley start-up Bluesmart thinks its new connected luggage will help travelers stay sane when bags go missing. The company takes an Internet of Things approach to the suitcase, integrating sensors that allow travelers to track their bag’s location on a map.
The instant relief of knowing items have at least made it to the right city is valuable in itself, but the Bluesmart device also has a smart handle that can instantly calculate the bag’s weight, and an integrated app with information about itineraries. It even has a built-in battery that charges a smartphone up to six times, meaning travelers won’t have to search for scarce electrical outlets in airports.
“In the Internet of Things, there are a lot of solutions looking for problems,” says Bluesmart co-founder and CEO Diego Saez-Gil. “But in our case the idea came from an actual experience of losing my bags, seeing that nothing was out there, and seeing that this opportunity of putting sensors and chips inside of things can actually enhance products.”
Travelers pass through many environments on their journeys, making an integrated approach to smart devices challenging. But, Saez-Gil says, the Internet of Things and travel are starting to join up. “In the connected home, everything will converge, so we will see the same thing happen in the travel space,” he says.
Approved by the US Transportation Security Administration, the Bluesmart suitcase has a feature that causes its connectivity features to automatically deactivate in flight, so it does not interfere with the operations of aircraft. The suitcase is currently available on preorder for $399, and the company begins taking regular orders in December 2015.