Bluesmart raised more than $2 million on Indiegogo in 2014 for its connected carry-on bag. Now, two years later, the company's improving upon that luggage with the release of its Bluesmart Black Edition, which is available for preorder starting today. The bag doesn't come with any notable new features, except for OS updates that improve GPS precision, battery performance, light behaviors, and overall performance.
Design was the real focus of the bag's release. The Black Edition's exterior combines nylon and polyester with a double layer of PU coating, which makes the suitcase water- and scratch-resistant, Bluesmart says. It also comes with a removable mesh liner, and the company claims the Black Edition's high-density microfiber protects electronics from scratches, dust, and dirt. Something tells me a rough baggage handler could easily cause damage through those microfibers, though.
rough baggage handlers could easily cause damage
While the redesign does look nice, it's still a heavy bag that weighs nine pounds. That's just heavy enough that hoisting the bag over your head and into the overhead compartment counts as a workout. And it's even more expensive than the initial release. If ordered during the presale the bag costs $549. It'll eventually retail for $599. I imagine this bag is for a business executive with an expense account and a whole lot of flying to do. The Black Edition's features, including location tracking, Bluetooth-enabled locking, and a USB charger, slightly make up for its heavy weight, but I think a true feat would be the creation of a lighter bag with those same features.
Plenty of companies recognize this niche market. Samsung and Samsonite are reportedly working together to manufacture bags that are tracked through satellites, and Raden unveiled its connected luggage earlier this year. Unlike Raden, which relies on a mesh network to hunt down lost bags, Bluesmart relies on 3G and GPS radios to track luggage.