From wearables to moveables, the rise of the sensornet rolls on: a Bluetooth-connected suitcase which keeps tabs on where in the world you’ve traveled and tracks its own location using GPS so you’ll never have to leave the lost luggage department with a crestfallen face has passed $1 million raised on the Indiegogo crowdfunding website.
The Bluesmart carry on suitcase also packs a 37 Watts lithium-ion battery so it can be used to charge your mobile devices when you’re stuck without a power socket. And that spare battery might well be the most attractive feature for the seasoned business traveller, ever on the hunt for somewhere to juice up their devices.
Other smart features stuffed into an otherwise relatively ordinary-looking 34L, 21.5″ x 14″ x 9″ suitcase are a digital, proximity-triggered lock which can secure the case when it’s out of range of your phone for peace of mind. The proximity feature can also trigger in-app alerts when you and your case are parted to combat forgetfulness or theft.
There’s also a built in digital scales that apparently lets you view the weight of the packed case via a companion app — so you don’t go overboard on hand luggage limits. And a quick access pouch for accessing your electronics devices so you can easily unbox them at security.
The Bluesmart companion app is being designed to quantify your travel, by tracking where your case has ended up, so keeping tabs on factors such as the number of countries visited, time spent in each, airports visited, total miles traveled, as well as displaying useful real-time travel data such as how long it is since you left home, and the time til your next flight leaves.
After about a year’s dev work the U.S.-based team behind Bluesmart say they have functioning Bluetooth-enabled prototypes. They’re aiming to ship to backers in August next year if all goes to plan.
At the time of writing their campaign has raised just over $1,003,500 from almost 4,500 backers with eight days left to run, so they have more than enough pre-order cash pledged (considering they were only looking to raise $50,000) — albeit they still need to nail down the manufacturing process and build the companion iOS and Android apps. So there’s plenty to keep them busy. As with all crowdfunded hardware projects it pays to expect delays.
Indiegogo pre-orders convinced by the Bluesmart concept can pick up the case for $235, which is around half what its makers say they expect the full retail price to be next year.