Now that almost every other thing in our life is ‘smart’, why deal with the same old ‘dumb’ suitcases? That seems to be the question that was bothering the powers-that-be at suitcase manufacturing company Samsonite. Looks like they have found an able and willing ally in Samsung Electronics to make their ideas come to fruition. So after smartphones, smartwatches, smart glasses, smart televisions, smart shoes and smart cars, we better prepare ourselves for the onslaught of smart suitcases. According to reports, Samsung is collaborating with Samsonite to fit their suitcases with GPS enabled microchips, much like the ones used in modern day smartphones. Samsonite believes that this would go a long way in reducing instances of lost luggage that causes a great deal of friction between airlines and flyers. A suitcase, thus fitted with a GPS enabled microchip, will be able to send its location to its owner’s smartphone periodically, thereby preventing it from moving too far away from the owner.
According to Samsonite CEO Ramesh Tainwala, “We are working with Samsung to create something that is more than a gimmick. The Smart luggage will be able to communicate with you but it needs to be able to do much more than just give its location”. Explaining his plans further, he said that in the future, not only will a smart luggage be able to identify its own location, such a luggage would also be able to check itself in, allowing its owner to avoid lengthy queues at airport check-ins. It will also be able to send messages to its owner at every stage of its journey right from when it’s checked in, to the moment it lands on the conveyor belt for its owner to collect. The smart chip will also ostensibly prevent tampering, by sending an alert to the owner if somebody tries to open the case without access to the legitimate keys, or indeed, if somebody is trying to steal it.
What really sounds straight out of the realms of science fiction is that the bags will be able to follow their owners around on their own, with the help of tiny remote-controlled motors embedded within the cases. Although, that particular feature might take some time coming to the market, as according to Mr. Tainwala, “This is a utopia we are working towards but we are not quite there yet”.