Your future luggage has a mind of its own
(CNN) — There’s more to your luggage than meets the eye. Of late, bags have started to think for themselves.
They can weigh themselves, track themselves, lock and unlock at the touch of a smartphone and even charge your electronics and double as a Wi-Fi hotspot.
But is the world ready for them? Some experts aren’t so sure.
“Everyone is talking about smart luggage, but right now, I think what’s in the marketplace is more gimmicks,” says Ramesh Tainwala, CEO of luggage brand Samsonite.
“I wouldn’t really say we’ve reached a level of technology where you have something that delivers value to the consumer in a manner that is safe,” he adds.
It’s a market Samsonite plans to enter soon.
Tainwala says to expect a new, better model of smart luggage by early next year.
The lighter the better
Another growing trend in the luggage market is weight. Lighter bags mean you can pack more before reaching the upper limit.
“The lightest [bag on the market] is less than two kilos (4.5 pounds). Our R&D team is working on a challenge: Can you make a cabin-sized luggage which is less than 1.5 kilos (three pounds)?” asks Tainwala.
The wheels on the bag
Wheels may just seem like round things that pull a suitcase forward, but the humble wheel has gotten a complex makeover in recent years.
“It’s probably one of the most complicated parts that goes into (the design),” says Tainwala.
“The wheel should be able to take the shock when you really drop the luggage on the wheel, which is different from a car. Nobody would take a car and drop a car,” he adds.
Samsonite wheels, he notes, have at least 50 to 60 different components which allow them to adjust to range of temperatures and weather conditions.
“It’s not like the wheel of a toy, you know.”