We first heard about the luxury brand’s idea for such a device at the start of this year, and the company has now delivered.
Essentially a black stick with some smarts inside — oh, and also featuring the all-important LV logo on its exterior — the Echo can be clipped into a dedicated pocket or secured in a band located inside the company’s line of Horizon 50, 55, and 70 cases.
The pricey device is the first to use Sigfox’s Monarch geolocation system, comprising a radio recognition service that allows the Echo to operate without any additional hardware such as GPS or Wi-Fi chipset.
Once paired with your LV Pass smartphone app, Louis Vuitton promises you’ll be able to “travel with peace of mind, tracing your connected luggage in the main worldwide airports.” Note the word main — limited coverage means that at the current time, Echo will only function at certain airports (full list here).
Your luggage will presumably be right there with you until check-in, but if some ne’er-do-well tries to nab it, you’ll be able to fire up your smartphone and watch your beloved suitcase in real-time as it’s hurried off to another part of the airport, and possibly beyond.
A neat touch with the Echo is the inclusion of a light sensor that sends a notification when it detects the luggage has been opened. That way, you’ll know exactly when the thief has begun rifling through your belongings.
Louis Vuitton says that you’ll also receive a notification to your smartphone when you land at your destination so that you’ll know “whether your luggage has arrived in the right airport or not.” That makes it sound like retaining your luggage is a 50-50 gamble when you fly (it may feel that way for some unlucky passengers), but if the worst does happen, at least you won’t be wasting any time at the carousel and can quickly inform a member of the airline that your LV suitcase appears to have gone to New Delhi instead of New York and would they mind doing something about it please.
Echo’s six-month battery life means that if your LV bag does happen to go missing, you or the airline will have more than enough time to actually go and get it.
If buying the LV luggage means you have no money left for the Echo, one of these more reasonably priced Bluetooth trackers may do the trick, though they’ll only work within a relatively short range. Alternatively, check out these smart luggage options, many of which feature built-in GPS trackers.