A Wing and a Prayer

Bloomberg Businessweek (North America) - - Etc -

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.