Losing your bag is a menace of decades past with smart luggage apps coming online. One of those is LugLoc, which simply combines GSM and Bluetooth technology to keep suitcase and owner connected at all times. The device is registered with LugLoc after downloading a $7 app (which comes $29.99 for unlimited traces annually). It’s then charged, turned on, paired and an accompanying luggage tag is placed on the handle of the suitcase. Coming off the luggage carousel, a smartphone’s Bluetooth will alert that the bag is near.
Locked & Loaded
Most luggage manufacturers at this trade show offered locks – lots of locks. Some of them are made to accommodate a TSA key and others require a series of passwords and fingerprint checks managed through a smartphone app.
One such company is Hontus, a shining star this year hailing from Milan but distributed in the US through Planet Traveler. They put their new Space Case 1 models in a Plexiglas column to be seen but not touched. The shiny, lightweight roller comes with a built-in biometric lock, global tracking, auto-weight sensors, a lithium charging pack, and, if you have to start the party before you even hang up your coat – Bluetooth speakers.You will need to download a proprietary app for most of that functionality.
Similarly, Andiamo introduced IQ, a lightweight“smart bag”that runs with a remote locking device, built-in digital scale, secured WiFi hotspot and slots for global SIM card use for international connectivity, compact charging batteries, and distance alerts to track luggage at airports and hotels. All is managed through a multiuse travel app that offers packing tips and other travel-enhancing features.
Travelers who want to track their luggage and not worry about the other bells and whistles can use services such as LugLoc, which uses Bluetooth and GSM technology but costs $70 plus additional usage fees. For the more frugal, Trakdot is a bit cheaper with annual service fees of $20 in addition to the $50 gadget price.
For those who would rather wear their things than check them, Stuffa displayed a line of vests and jackets with as many as a dozen stuffable compartments for clothing and accessories, providing plenty of padding and convenience for the traveler who doesn’t mind looking like an egg.
And for those road warriors who do not want to unpack at all, an expandable suitcase from Shelfpack.com extends up a few feet from the bag into four shelf compartments where folded sweaters and pants can be managed and other garments pack easily into an array of accessible pockets.
Airport potatoes who like to peel into projects while they wait for a flight can invest in the Travel Office. This is luggage from JML Innovations that turns a suitcase into a desk. The platform pulls out of a thin back pocket on the case and expands into ample flat and un-angled space for a laptop, a mouse and even an outboard keyboard or papers. Chess games, too, fit neatly.