A Wing and a Prayer
No one wants to start a trip with a lost bag. This is why smart suitcases and accessories are appealing, and why a handful of companies are getting into the game. This summer, Rimowa will introduce to North America its electronic tag system (rimowa.com/en-us/electronictag; it adds $75 to the cost of a case), which lets you use your phone to check in the bag for a quick handoff if you’re flying Lufthansa. Newcomer Raden (raden.com) makes a connected suitcase that’s been on sale since March.
Raden’s bags come in two sizes, one for carrying on ($295) and one for checking in ($395). Both rely on Bluetooth to pinpoint their location. As long as the bag is in range of someone with Raden’s IOS app or an app built on the same location-id’ing technology as Tile, which helps you find your keys, you can find it—no problem. I tested the check-in size on a trip from New York to Austin and back while the app was still in beta. The location-tracking feature wasn’t as exact as I’d hoped for: When I got an alert telling me my bag was 50 feet away, I looked up to find it had just passed me on the carousel.
Still, the suitcase has other advanced features, including self-weighing capabilities and a battery-powered built-in charger. These are great, explaining why the company raised $3.5 million in funding, some of which will no doubt go toward figuring out how to warn me that my bag is 50, then 40, then 30 feet away. —— Bryan Hood