Hello, this is your Luggage calling. I’m Lost.
Courtesy Philippa Warr, Wired.co.uk, ArsTechnica
Airbus has developed a smart bag and accompanying iPhone app to reduce luggage stress while travelling.
The system, which Airbus is modestly referring to as "The reinvention of baggage", contains sensors and an RFID chip which allow it to take care of tasks like weighing the contents of the suitcase automatically as well as communicating with the check-in system of various airlines.
Developed in partnership with mobile service provider T-Mobile and German luggage maker Rimowa, the Bag2Go system is still at the prototype stage but shows Airbus thinking beyond its traditional plane travel service provision.
According to the promotional video the app would be of use from the packing stage onwards, offering lists of restricted items and monitoring the weight of your bag’s contents. Scanning a QR code would sync your now-ready suitcase with your inventory and seal it for the journey.
Once you’ve checked your suitcase—or taken advantage of a door-to-door courier service—the app would keep you informed (well, for the parts of your journey where you’re allowed to be using electrical devices) of your bag’s progress and whether the case has been opened.
The idea is to reduce the stress associated with travel luggage, however the system does not describe any extra procedures for ensuring that nothing terrible happens to your possessions beyond the fact they are being monitored. As a result, one potential scenario would have you sitting on a plane helplessly watching your bags make a round trip to a completely different country.
Speaking about the bag system, Airbus’s Chief Innovation Officer, Yann Barbaux told Australian Business Traveller that the bag is currently expected to cost only slightly more than its non-techy equivalent—somewhere in the region of a 20 percent price increase.