Why We’re Obsessing Over The Latest Smart Luggage

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By Eric Halsey

It’s easy to assume that any old luggage will do: until you finally upgrade to quality smart luggage. Today the differences between the basic and the high tech are widening as more advanced smart suitcases, luggage tags, and other travel gadgets hit the market.

So is it time to upgrade or is it better to wait for the technology to mature? Let’s take a look at some of the most advanced smart suitcases on the market, as well as some promising concepts. After all, if technology is already making it easier than ever to book the perfect hotel, then why shouldn’t it also be easier to travel as well?

What’s So Smart about a Smart Luggage?

smart luggage

In short, it depends. No doubt the word “smart” is getting thrown around a lot these days, but some of this luggage really earns it, while it’s perhaps too generous a term for others.

The Smart Luggage Basics

There are some features which have become standard in the latest generation of high-tech suitcases. So what should you expect your first smart suitcase to have?

Self Weighing: This feature is an absolute godsend for any frequent traveller who’s found themselves ditching that bottle of wine or great book to avoid paying an extra $100 at the gate.

  • Built in Battery: Here’s another critical feature for any smart suitcase today. A built in battery means avoiding that horror of horrors: spending hours waiting for a flight with a pile of dead devices.

  • Location Tracking: Built in GPS, NFC, or Bluetooth isn’t as ubiquitous as self weighing or built in batteries, but it’s becoming more and more common. Here the advantage lies in avoiding permanently lost luggage or even worse: luggage theft. The location tracking system will probably be more commonly used to notify you when your luggage comes down the baggage carousel. This means you don’t need to look up from your book.

For a true power-traveller, however, these basic smart travel bag features simply aren’t enough.

The Smart Luggage Premium Features You Know You Want

  • Remote Lock: Location tracking is one thing, but a remote lock is essential for anyone who truly wants to make sure their smart suitcase is always protected from theft. Some will even lock themselves automatically if they get too far away from you.

  • Self-Charging: Okay, so this only exists in a prototype built by Yanko Design, but the idea here is to use the turning of the bag’s wheels to charge its internal battery. It may take a few years, but we suspect this will become pretty standard in due time.

  • Follows You Around: A suitcase that follows you around and promises a new level of hands-free airport maneuvering is also still in concept form, but is getting a lot of media attention and awards.

Some Noteworthy Examples of Awesome Smart Suitcases

If some of these features sound like must-haves for you, here are three of the top products available today.

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Bluesmart

Bluesmart is really the top of the line smart suitcase available now. It combines all of the standard features mentioned above with the more premium ability to remote lock. This added feature along with premium materials, wheel design, and the lightest weight you’ll find with these added features (9.4 lbs / 4.3 kg,) also make it the most expensive at about $500. If you value premium features, lightweight luggage, and sleek design, Bluesmart is an excellent choice.

Trunkster

Coming in a bit cheaper ($435), a bit heavier (10.3 lbs / 4.7 kg), and without the ability to remote lock, Trunkster is also a solid choice for anyone looking to get their first smart suitcase. Another note here, Trunkster’s remote tracking is optional, which means you have more options for how you’d like to use it. Plus, there’s a great story of how these two intrepid founders got their start on Kickstarter.

Raden

Undoubtedly the best value you’ll find for a smart suitcase, Raden’s carry on is just $295 and weighs just 8.4 lbs, or 3.8 kg. Yet, in that lightweight package you get location tracking, a built-in scale, and an integrated battery. This smart suitcase really offers just about everything you’d want without breaking the bank.

 

Price

Weight

Self Weighing

Battery

Tracking

Remote Lock

Bluesmart

$500

9.4lbs

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Trunkster

$435

10.3lbs

Yes

Yes

Optional

No

Raden

$295

8.4lbs

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

The Future of Smart Luggage

This field is changing fast though, no doubt we’ll continue to see more and more features roll out on newer models in the coming years. Still, the world of smart travel doesn’t end at your luggage itself, other technology, such as smart luggage tags, is also creeping into the world of travel.

Now that your high tech luggage is packed, check out these 11 clever tips to bag a great hotel bargain on your next trip.

About the Author: Eric Halsey is a traveler and contributor to Hotels Combined.

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