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BAGS OF INTELLIGENCE

The next “smart” device could be your carry-on suitcase

Belgium Airport
AP Photo/Yves Logghe
Ping your case.
This article is more than 2 years old.

Many stressful airport experiences revolve around luggage—dragging it around, weighing it, getting rid of extra items to avoid excess-baggage fees. You also worry about losing it, having it stolen, or routed to the wrong destination. Not to mention bumping into people’s shins or rolling over their toes.

But Bluesmart, which claims to be the the world’s first connected carry-on, says it can make the luggage experience easier. And it would appear a lot of people agree: the company has already raised over $1.36 million on Indiegogo, well beyond its original goal of $50,000.

The Bluesmart carry-on can  be connected to your phone via an app, available for iOS, Android, and even smartwatches. You can use the app to lock or unlock the suitcase (it also comes with a physical key), weigh it, and track its location if it gets lost or rerouted. It has proximity sensors that can alert you if you leave it behind, or stray too far from it. Oh, and  it can charge two separate devices from its built-in battery.

The app also offers real-time reports, trends, and data from trips, including things like distance traveled, time spent abroad, and airports visited. But you still have to use your own caution to avoid slamming into other people.

What will airport security make of all the built-in electronics? The electronic lock, which notifies the owner whenever someone opens the suitcase, is Transportation Security Administration-approved; this means the suitcase can be checked in, because the TSA owns a universal key to unlock it for inspection. The built-in battery also complies with Federal Aviation Authority and TSA regulations; Bluesmart uses a 37-watt lithium ion battery.

The company says it has done its best to make sure the device complies with travel industry standards by flying with prototypes across the world.

Those who cough up money on Indiegogo can order a case for $250, or 40% off the expected retail price next year.

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