Airbus is attempting to solve the perennial problem of lost luggage with a new prototype suitcase called Bag2Go.
Bag2Go looks like a regular suitcase from the outside, with its hard shell, but inside houses an RFID chip that can link up the bag with automated baggage-handling systems. As reported by Australian Business Traveller, the concept suitcase can be synced to an iPhone, providing information on luggage weight thanks to a built-in scale activated by lifting the handle.
When in transit, users can check on the status of their bag and its current location using the iPhone app, which uses GPS to keep an eye on the bag's path. If the bag is opened or manipulated during its journey, the app will notify you.
While Bag2Go is just a prototype at the moment, Airbus expects it to cost around 20 per cent more than a conventional suitcase. Other possible applications include the ability to rent the bag from airlines directly for each trip, or a courier service that would transport the packed suitcase from the passenger's door directly to the airport for travelling light.
"There are companies which already do this for for maybe €25 [AU$35]," said Airbus chief innovation officer Yann Barbaux. "We think with this system could be done for €8 [AU$11], and it would still be profitable."
Airbus did not say when the prototype will hit the market, but said it would license the bags to airlines, rather than sell them directly to consumers. You can see a concept video of the Bag2Go system in action here.