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Samsung and Samsonite are getting together to create smart suitcases

Luggage giants Samsonite are partnering with tech multinational Samsung to create smart luggage – bags that will take the stress and even physical effort out of your globe-trotting.

Obviously the primary aim with smart luggage is to end the scourge of lost bags. If your luggage is fitted with GPS technology, it could be sent to the other side of the world and you could still retrieve it.

But, speaking to The Mail, Samsonite chief executive Ramesh Tainwala said the company wanted to create something that was “more than a gimmick”.

“Smart luggage will be able to communicate with you but it needs to be able to do much more than just give its location,” he said.

And while a bag that can tell you where it is sounds pretty impressive, it does get reduced to ‘gimmick’ status when you find out the two companies’ other plans for their collaboration.

They are looking to give the bag the ability to check itself in. In a move that would drastically reduce airport queues, you would be able to just toss your bags onto a conveyor belt and the bag would do the rest – chips would say who the bag belonged to, where it was going, and how much it weighed. You would then receive text messages confirming all your bag’s details.

At the other end of the trip, your bag would send you a message informing you when it had been unloaded from the plane, and even more importantly when it was about to be on the arrivals carousel for you to pick it up.

And that’s not a hypothetical – Samsonite are working with airlines Emirates, Lufthansa and KLM Air France to make the self-checking luggage a reality.

Arguably what’s even more exciting is the company’s plan to eventually fit their bags with motors, so that you no longer have to carry them. But rather than steer your self-wheeling bag, the idea is to fit it with a sensor so it follows you!

“It’s a blue sky idea where the bag will follow you six inches behind. It’s a bit like a programmable remote control car,” said Tainwala.

“At this stage the real focus is on a motor with a remote control that needs to be light and small. The early prototypes use an engine that takes up a third of the space and weighs 20 kilos.

“But if you look at music speakers, they used to be huge and are now tiny. So we revisit this project regularly.”

This isn’t the first instance of smart luggage, we previously did a story on the BlueSmart bags, but what makes it exciting is that it’s a case of two leaders in their respective markets coming together to shape the future of both – or create a third market altogether.

The part we’re most excited for is the name they’ll give it. Our money’s on ‘Samsongnite’.

As for Samsonite, they’re probably just excited to finally be able to put their company name on something with the word ‘smart’ on it, after 20 years at the other end of the intelligence scale – Dumb and Dumber.

About the author

Joe was Junior Vice-President at Compu-Global-Hyper-Mega-Net until it was bought out by Bill Gates. He now subedits for Conversant Media and considers it a step up.

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