Samsung and Samsonite are reportedly creating a new generation of "smart luggage" that relays its location to owners' smartphones and checks itself in at the airport. The Daily Mail reports that the bags will use GPS to track their location, alerting travelers when their luggage is unloaded from an aircraft or about to appear on the carousel. For the paranoid and fretful, the bags can also send out alerts when they're being opened or when their owner moves more than a few meters away. There's no indication of when these smart suitcases might go on sale, but the idea has already been executed by other companies. In October of last year, for example, the carry-on luggage with similar capabilities named Bluesmart raised more than $2 million on Indiegogo.
Samsonite is also exploring self-propelling luggage
"Smart luggage will be able to communicate with you but it needs to be able to do much more than just give its location," Samsonite chief executive Ramesh Tainwala told the Mail. "We are working with Samsung to create something that is more than a gimmick." Tainwala adds that Samsonite is also exploring the concept of self-propelling luggage that follows its owner around, but that the technology currently available is too bulky, with motors used in the company's prototypes weighing around 20kg and taking up a third of available luggage space.
A more achievable goal is creating smart bags that don't need to be checked in at airports. Chips inside the luggage will instead communicate with airlines, informing them of their weight and destination. This way, the bags can simply be placed on a carousel before passengers board their flight, avoiding the need to wait in a queue to have luggage manually labelled. "Emirates and Lufthansa are working on this," said Tainwala. "There is no reason why luggage can't get connected. If you can communicate with your bag then why not the airlines?"