What's New in Suitcase Technology

by  Teresa Bitler | Jun 11, 2015

Your suitcase is going high-tech. From tracking apps to suitcases that weigh themselves, here’s what’s new in the world of suitcases (and a few things we can’t wait to become reality).

Smart Bags
It was only a matter of time before suitcases became smartcases. Bag2Go will soon debut a suitcase with an embedded RFID chip that will serve as an electronic bag tag, allowing you to check your luggage in online, while you're still at home, and simply drop it off at the airport. For those who loathe getting to the airport early, not having to wait in line just to check bags will be a great boon. The suitcase -- a partnership between Rimowa, Airbus, IT service company T-Systems -- will also come with a companion phone app that would allow you trace its location and see whether it made it on your flight.  Price TBD.

Bluesmart, which we covered during its Indiegogo campaign, is now taking pre-orders for what it calls the world’s first smart and connected luggage. Pull the handle and the suitcase will weigh itself, so you’ll never have to awkwardly try to lighten your bags at the check-in counter again. The accompanying app allows you to lock your suitcase using your phone, track its location, and record trip information, like how many miles you’ve traveled. Bluesmart has also partnered with Uber, so if your baggage is ever delayed, you can request an Uber driver to pick it up at the airport for you and deliver it. $339 pre-sale; expected to retail at $450.

We’ve all been there: Sometimes, everything fits fine into the suitcase before your trip, but when it’s time to pack for home, you just can’t seem to stuff everything inside. Thank goodness Briggs & Riley has developed a patented technology that allows the bag to expand up to 33 percent -- and then compress back to its original size, so all those souvenirs will still fit into the overhead compartment. From $449.

Biaggi solves yet another problem: stowage space, particularly in urban destinations and other compact spaces. Its ZipSak line of soft-sided bags have a hinge that allows you to collapse your luggage and fold it for easy storage under a bed or even in a drawer. From $69.98.

Built-In Power
Thanks to a collection of battery-inclusive products, low-battery warnings on your smartphones and other devices may quickly become a thing of the past. The aforementioned Bluesmart features two USB ports, as does ECBC’s luggage, from $399.99. These suitcases each include a portable power pack, as well as individual pockets for your phone, tablet, and laptop for organized charging. Another perk? A padded compartment for your laptop that can be unzipped, laid flat on the conveyor, and pass through TSA inspection without being removed from your bag. No more fumbling!

Alternatively, if you have your own portable power bank already, Genius Pack has a great collection of incredibly thoughtful gear with pockets for just about everything you can think of -- including a charging pocket next to a device pocket. Other covetable features include separate umbrella pockets, a compact speaker for music, and compressible laundry bag. Specific features and prices vary depending on the product.

Coming soon to an airport near you
Exhausted after a long trip? The Hop suitcase was conceived to follow you, like a loyal dog, through the airport. If it comes to fruition -- we haven't seen a recent update lately -- it'll actually roll, not hop, as it follows signals from your cell phone. If your legs need a break, Trunki already has a kids’ suitcase that doubles as a seat for weary travelers -- but they have an adult version in the works that could come in handy when your boarding area is packed. Finally, Titan High-Roller wants to help you get to your gate faster. Their prototype, which has been in the works for a while, is part suitcase and part scooter.

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