Ever since most major airlines imposed the fee on first checked baggage, people everywhere have been looking for ways to stuff the most items into their carry-on luggage and one personal item (usually a backpack) to avoid the excess charge. While most of us have mastered the weight limit restriction, the trouble is no longer about stuffing your life into a carry-on but dragging all your things through the airport — especially because you always seem to get assigned the gate at the far end of the terminal. Wouldn’t it be nice if your luggage just followed you around so you can use your hands for more important things, like… finding the time to eat before your flight?
Hop the suitcase aims to be such a solution. Billing itself as the “next generation of luggage,” Hop contains three receivers that can locate and track the user’s cellphone so it can follow the owner wherever he or she goes. If the signal becomes lost or interrupted, the suitcase locks itself so no one can access what’s inside, and alerts the user’s cell that the luggage has stopped following. You can program Hop, named after hotel bellhops, to be controlled by you or jointly with the staff that handles your luggage if you do decide to check it.
“If a suitcase can move by itself, besides facilitating the lives of a large number of travellers, families, disabled people, [it] could also spare all the elements that moves externally the baggage (conveyor belts, carts),” the official Hop website reads. While that’s a novel and hopeful idea, it’s definitely going to take a while for airport security to shift from its large system to a bunch of RC luggage bags — if the idea ever catches on. And if it does, you best make sure to not lose your phone either or else the thief not only gets a shiny new smartphone, he’ll swipe all your travel goodies too.
At this moment, Hop is only in its prototype stages, but we could always dream of a robot bellhop suitcase to make airports less of terrible place to travel through. Still, we can’t help the lack of great food offered in most terminals, though.