Raden wants to be the Apple of luggage with a pair of smart suitcases

raden smart luggage thumb

Update on May 21, 2018: Raden, citing new airline guidelines on smart luggages with batteries, has shut down its business. While it is fulfilling existing orders, it is not accepting refunds or exchanges, and support will be limited.

In the last two years, several startups have emerged with the goal of creating the ultimate smart luggage. These bags are chockfull of tech designed with today’s travel needs in mind, such as portable power and connected apps. A company called Raden is the latest to introduce luggage with brains, although CEO and founder Josh Udashkin doesn’t see himself as a tech startup, but a luggage company that’s utilizing tech to reinvent how people travel, and it starts with luggage that looks deceptively familiar, but discreetly intelligent.

Technology in disguise

At launch, Raden (a Japanese term to describe a form of decorative lacquered art) is introducing a 22-inch carry-on (A22, $295) and a 28-inch check case (A28, $395). Both are hard cases (available as a set for $595) made from a water-resistant polycarbonate (Makrolon), which provides strength without adding a lot of weight; the cases are 7.5 and 11.2 pounds, respectively. Available in black, white, navy blue, hunger green, light purple, light pink, and light blue, the bags’ rubberized waterproof zippers are color-matched to the shell. The rigid size of the 22-inch model is guaranteed to meet all carry-on rules. Udashkin said he opted not to go with a soft case because many people are moving toward hard cases for their next luggage purchases, according to trend research.

Raden-a22-carry-mood-3-black-gloss

The sleek, minimalist design isn’t just stunning, it also hides the embedded technology. There is a 7,800mAh modular battery that powers two USB ports on the exterior of the bag, which can fully recharge a phone roughly four-times over. The unassuming handle also has a built-in scale that tells you how heavy the bag is after you fill it up. And Bluetooth low-energy (BLE) allows the bag to talk to your phone, and helps you locate it should it get lost.

“Everything about the bag is supposed to be stealth,” Udashkin told Digital Trends. “[What’s inside] is between you and the bag.”

Rechargeable batteries, USB ports, and even integrated scales, in the world of smart bags, aren’t particularly novel (you could say it’s not reinventing any wheels), but from a technology standpoint, the Raden mobile app (iOS only at launch) is perhaps the bag’s killer feature. Using Public APIs from other services, the app provides pertinent information for a travel itinerary: security check-in wait times, weather, traffic, public transportation, flight details, and Uber hailing. Tell the app the airline you’re flying and it will let you know if your bag is overweight. Raden also has a team that provides customer support, which you can access through the app, when issues like a lost bag arise. The app can pair up to 10 bags.

While Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) lets you quickly locate the bag when you come near it. BLE is similar to iBeacon, where your iPhone performs a function when it comes near a transmitter, like the Starbucks app popping up on a lock screen when you enter a shop; it’s a short-distance technology that’s limited to 160 feet. That’s not helpful if your bag is stranded in a different terminal, though. ’s vision is that if there are more Raden bags floating around, it could create a crowdsourced GPS mesh network that covers a greater area. In concept it sounds great, but we doubt millions of Raden bags will pop up at airports overnight. But adds that more and more airports will start adding more beacon-based transmitters at airports soon, which the bags could utilize as a means of location awareness.

Smart Home

We tested anti-snoring devices on our loudest friends. Here’s what worked

If your partner snores and it keeps you up at night, you may be interested in the latest anti-snoring technology. We tested out a few different gadgets to find out what they do and whether they work or not.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Plant-based shoes and a ukulele learning aid

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Product Review

The last American midsize plug-in hybrid is being squeezed out of existence

The 2019 Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid can’t catch a break. Ford is planning to discontinue production next year, but looming tariffs could spell doom for an otherwise comfortable and very economically sensible sedan.
Deals

Here are 20 portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

If you're looking for portable tech to keep you charged up while on the go (or for some great small gift ideas), we've rounded up 20 must-have gadgets. You'll find everything from a mini gaming controller to a folding Bluetooth keyboard.
Smart Home

Walmart Grocery challenges Amazon with a new $98-a-year delivery option

The grocery delivery wars are hotting up. Walmart's latest effort is a $98-a-year subscription fee that offers free delivery on orders over $30. The service, called Delivery Unlimited, can be tried free for 15 days.
Smart Home

A new survey by Adobe shows an evolving market for voice applications

A new consumer survey conducted by Adobe Analytics has uncovered a growing desire for more diversity in voice-controlled applications and devices as well as growing engagement with voice ads.
Giveaways

Robot vacuum giveaway: Enter to win a new iRobot Roomba i7+ robot vacuum

If you need an extra hand around the house, then you might be in luck: We’re giving readers the chance to win a new iRobot Roomba i7+ – our favorite robot vacuum and a $1,100 value – totally free.
Deals

Walmart drops Ninja kitchen appliance deals on blender system and coffee maker

Walmart is offering Ninja's Mega Kitchen System and Coffee Bar for only $140 each. Upgrade your kitchen with reliable equipment that will expand your meal-prep capabilities by taking advantage of these amazing deals.
Deals

iRobot discounts $150 off i7+, a Roomba robot vacuum that empties its own bins

iRobot just took $150 off its best robot vacuum model, the Roomba i7+. The flagship model Roomba i7+ has stronger suction and smarter house-mapping than previous models, but automatic dirt disposal is the killer feature.
Deals

iRobot Roomba robot vacuum cleaners get huge price cuts before summer

We've found the best discounts on Roomba robot vacs and put them in one place. Whether you're shopping for a gift or need extra help around the house, these six robot vacuum deals can help you save up to $200.
Deals

The best iRobot Roomba deals to make cleaning your home a breeze

Keep your home clean without lifting a finger using a robot vacuum cleaner. These nine iRobot Roomba deals not only help you keep your home tidy, but many also come with advanced features such as automatic scheduling and Wi-Fi connectivity.
Deals

Amazon drops the price on the bestselling Instant Pot Lux, now only $59

If you’re in the market for a cooker that does the work of many appliances while saving time and energy, the Instant Pot LUX60V3 is a great choice. Normally $80, this bestselling cooker is now available on Amazon for only $59.
Smart Home

Walmart slashes the price on the Cuisinart 360 Griddle Cooking Center grill

Backyard grills and smokers dominate outdoor cooking, but when a novel and versatile Cuisinart patio cooker turns up, especially on sale, we pay attention. Walmart just dropped the price of the Cuisinart 360 Griddle Cooking Center.
Smart Home

Rescuing pizza: New life and new uses for your microwave oven

Leftover pizza slices can be a treat, but they're just not the same as when they're hot and crispy fresh from the oven. A new product could help pizza lovers resurrect leftover slices to nearly their original taste and texture.
1 of 2