Skip to main content

Future luggage from Samsonite may check itself in and follow you around

Carolina K. Smith MD/shutterstock
Image used with permission by copyright holder
The unremitting grind of airport travel — waiting in line for security behind a slow-moving river of humanity, standing for hours at a dingy and decrepit gate, and settling for edible-but-not-entirely-appetizing terminal food-court fare — is about about to get the tiniest bit better. The Daily Mail reports that Samsung is teaming up with luggage-maker Samsonite to produce a carry-on bag with inbuilt circuitry that checks in, tracks, and even transports itself autonomously, potentially meaning one less major barrier between you and your final destination.

The prototypical baggage, according to the report, uses GPS and other hardware to precisely track its location. Right now it can relay that data to a smartphone or tablet in raw form, but it may eventually make smarter use of it — the two companies envision bags that alert their owners when they’ve left plane storage and reached the baggage carousel, for example. They may also reduce theft by chiming when they’ve been opened or have left the range of a paired device.

But that’s not all. “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 Daily Mail, and to that end the company’s developing motorized, self-propelling luggage. Still very much in the early stages, such bags could, thanks to retrofitted motors and proximity sensors, follow travelers from a configurable number of inches behind them.

That concept is still a stretch — thanks in large part to the bulky, 20-kilo motors required, and Tainwala admitted it “[isn’t] quite there yet” — but more firmly within reach is automated check-in. Samsonite is working with airlines on an integrated solution that’ll bypass the need to stop by the desk by communicating ownership, airline, and destination to self-service baggage weighing stations. It’s not a perfect solution — the company’s only working with Emirates, Lufthansa, and KLM Air France right now because airline systems are largely incompatible — but Tainwala says there’s no better fit for the bags’ wireless capabilities. “If you can communicate with your bag then why not the airlines?”

An unspecified future launch will likely align with Samsonite’s personalization program. Over the next few weeks, the company will debut an online portal that’ll allow customers to engrave their name, change the colors of locks and handles, and emblazon images on bags. “The most important thing is luggage must be seen as a beautiful object of desire and part of your personality,” said Tainwala. “When you walk with luggage it says something about you.”

If smart bags become ubiquitous, that’ll very literally be true.

Editors' Recommendations

Kyle Wiggers
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Kyle Wiggers is a writer, Web designer, and podcaster with an acute interest in all things tech. When not reviewing gadgets…
AI turned Breaking Bad into an anime — and it’s terrifying
Split image of Breaking Bad anime characters.

These days, it seems like there's nothing AI programs can't do. Thanks to advancements in artificial intelligence, deepfakes have done digital "face-offs" with Hollywood celebrities in films and TV shows, VFX artists can de-age actors almost instantly, and ChatGPT has learned how to write big-budget screenplays in the blink of an eye. Pretty soon, AI will probably decide who wins at the Oscars.

Within the past year, AI has also been used to generate beautiful works of art in seconds, creating a viral new trend and causing a boon for fan artists everywhere. TikTok user @cyborgism recently broke the internet by posting a clip featuring many AI-generated pictures of Breaking Bad. The theme here is that the characters are depicted as anime characters straight out of the 1980s, and the result is concerning to say the least. Depending on your viewpoint, Breaking Bad AI (my unofficial name for it) shows how technology can either threaten the integrity of original works of art or nurture artistic expression.
What if AI created Breaking Bad as a 1980s anime?
Playing over Metro Boomin's rap remix of the famous "I am the one who knocks" monologue, the video features images of the cast that range from shockingly realistic to full-on exaggerated. The clip currently has over 65,000 likes on TikTok alone, and many other users have shared their thoughts on the art. One user wrote, "Regardless of the repercussions on the entertainment industry, I can't wait for AI to be advanced enough to animate the whole show like this."

Read more
4 simple pieces of tech that helped me run my first marathon
Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar displaying pace information.

The fitness world is littered with opportunities to buy tech aimed at enhancing your physical performance. No matter your sport of choice or personal goals, there's a deep rabbit hole you can go down. It'll cost plenty of money, but the gains can be marginal -- and can honestly just be a distraction from what you should actually be focused on. Running is certainly susceptible to this.

A few months ago, I ran my first-ever marathon. It was an incredible accomplishment I had no idea I'd ever be able to reach, and it's now going to be the first of many I run in my lifetime. And despite my deep-rooted history in tech, and the endless opportunities for being baited into gearing myself up with every last product to help me get through the marathon, I went with a rather simple approach.

Read more
This bracelet helps you fall asleep faster and sleep longer
woman-in-bed-wearing-twilight-apollo-on-ankle

This content was produced in partnership with Apollo Neuroscience.
Have you been struggling to get the recommended seven hours of sleep? It's always frustrating when you get in bed at a reasonable time, then toss and turn for a hours before you actually sleep. The quality of that sleep is important too. If you're waking up multiple times during the night, you're likely not getting the quality REM cycle sleep that truly rejuvenates your body. If traditional remedies like herbal teas and noise machines just aren't helping, maybe it's time to try a modern solution. Enter the Apollo wearable.

Now we understand being a little skeptical. How can a bracelet on your wrist or ankle affect your sleep patterns? Certainly the answer to a better night's sleep can't be so simple. We considered these same things when we first heard of it. We'll dive deeper into the science behind the Apollo wearable, but suffice it to say that many people have experienced deeper, uninterrupted sleep while wearing one.
A non-conventional approach to better sleep

Read more