Traveling can be a joy or a pain, and the luggage you use to tote your stuff affects that outcome. While manufacturers have made advancements in materials and design, suitcases really haven’t changed much. But luggage is finally getting smarter, and the options for connected suitcases and related gadgets – from startups to market leaders like Samsonite, Rimowa, and Delsey – are beginning to catch hold.
From built-in scales to GPS tracking and mobile apps, these bags won’t make hauling your stuff any lighter, but they could make the experience less harrowing. Below are some of our current and forthcoming favorites.
We first looked at Bluesmart when it was still an Indiegogo campaign back in 2014. Bluesmart is the first of the super-smart suitcases to actually make it from crowdfunding to delivery. The suitcase’s features set the standard for the next generation of travel gear: The companion iOS or Android app lets you control the TSA-approved lock and its proximity option, which can automatically unlock when you and your phone move into range. The app also displays the bag’s weight thanks to a built-in scale, and it will even tell you if it’s overweight for the specific airline you’re flying – a helpful feature for before you head to the airport. What’s annoying, however, is that you can’t easily loan the luggage to someone, since it’s tied to your account (you will have to contact customer service to re-register it).
Inside, the Bluesmart case hides a 10,000mAh battery with two USB charging ports – one behind the top handle and one in a pocket. That’s enough to charge most new phones more than five times. In addition, the pockets hide a series of dividers designed for conveniently stowing a laptop or tablet. It’s also the perfect size for a weekend trip: 22 inches tall and 14 inches wide. And with the GPS, you’ll know where to find your bag even if the airline manages to lose it.
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