Smart tech is invading every aspect of our lives, and has now taken control of the humble suitcase. The Bluesmart Carry-on is a crowdfunding darling that knows precisely where it is in the world, and even weighs itself. We've gone hands-on with a prototype model, so read on for everything you need to know.
Tracks itself, locks on cue
Bluesmart's suitcase has a SIM-card embedded inside it, courtesy of a tie-up with mobile operator Telefonica. That SIM is included in the price of the suitcase, so there's no monthly fee, and it gives you the case's location on a map via the accompanying app, should it get lost.
The carry-on unlocks using the app too, and you can tweak the settings to determine how far you have to be from the case before it unlocks. It'll also send you an SMS message if it gets too far out of range, which should help you to not to accidentally leave it in a taxi or a restaurant -- or at least, you'll quickly realise that you did forget it.
The app also gets you some other treats, including the power to see how far your bag has travelled, and a visual representation of its journeys around the globe.
If you don't own scales and often find yourself caught out by airline weight restrictions, the smart suitcase's ability to weigh itself will certainly be appealing. Hidden beneath the case's handle are two sensors, and when you lift the bag off the ground, these judge how heavy the case is. Bluesmart says this system operates with 90 percent accuracy, and is still working on fine-tuning it.
The Bluesmart Carry-on has a 10,000mAh battery on board, to handle all of its smart functions. It only takes one hour to charge, its makers told me, but that will get you enough juice to keep the bag ticking over for roughly six months. If you want to make use of that stored-up power however, you can charge your gadgets over USB. Bluesmart said there's enough power in the case to charge an iPhone six times over.
You'll pay for all this smart tech however -- Bluesmart says it expects the case to sell for around $450 (which equates to roughly £293 or AU$574).
Bluesmart raised over $2 million on crowdfunding website Indiegogo, so there's clearly plenty of interest in smarter luggage. Moreover, the company says it has plans to expand, and craft different types of luggage too. We'll keep a close eye on the progress of this smart suitcase, so stay tuned.