6 LugLoc

Business Traveler (USA) - - COVER STORY -

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.

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