Smart Luggage That Follows You Premieres at CES
This week marks one of the biggest times of the year for technology announcements, with the beginning of the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show, or simply CES. On the first day of the show, we've already heard about an interesting development for travelers: two companies will be unveiling smart suitcases that have the capability to follow you around. Yes, that's right.
The suitcase has multiple functions but its most impressive one is its ability to follow the user wherever they go. It can travel either horizontally or vertically and includes sensors that will make sure it avoids crashing into people and other obstacles. You'll even be able to command the suitcase with voice or hand commands.
The smart suitcase also includes a built-in battery with two USB ports for charging devices, customizable lights, speakers, a smart lock and digital scale. The suitcase's battery would power its motor for about four hours. It can hit speeds of 6.75 miles per hour for when you're running though the airport to catch that last minute flight.
Travelmate's Indigogo page says that the estimated delivery time is February 2018, with prices for the smallest suitcase starting at $1,099.
The Verge is reporting that Chinese company 90Fun is showing a working prototype of their autonomous smart suitcase called Puppy 1.
Using Segway technology, Puppy 1 can actually balance itself like a Segway scooter while it follows you. It gets its name from how a dog follows you around, although it's more like an untrained canine — in a test by a Verge reporter the luggage was found to be incredibly finicky and unreliable, jetting off in the wrong direction, losing the connection and falling over.
90Fun said it will take preorders for the suitcase in the second half of 2018 via a crowdfunding campaign and hopefully by that time the product will be more dependable.
Both 90Fun and Travelmate will have to contend with airline's new rules that have banned certain smart luggage due to safety concerns. In December, six major airlines announced that fliers would only be allowed to take on smart luggage that contained removable batteries, so these autonomous suitcase makers will need to be cognizant of that when they roll out their products.