Belgians develop a ‘smart suitcase’


Each year, millions of suitcases are lost worldwide. Consequently, Samsonite together with Google and the Ghent company In The Pocket figured out how to develop a ‘smart suitcase’ that would be traceable by means of a smartphone. You can register your suitcase via an app and as soon as it is located within a radius of 70 metres, a device in the suitcase sends out a signal that can be picked up by your smartphone. Other app-users reaching the radius of 70 metres will also pick up the signal, which will be registered in the cloud. This way, the new technology will be able to tackle the ‘missing suitcases’ problem.

The hardware, a chip integrated inside the lock, has been developed by the Spanish company Accent Systems. The software has been developed by Samsonite, the American technology giant Google and the Ghent company In The Pocket.  ‘The owner will register his smart suitcase via our app’, as explains Jan Deruyck, sales and marketing manager at In The Pocket. ‘The integrated ‘beacon’, a device communicating with mobile devices via the Bluetooth technology, sends out a signal that can be picked up by your smartphone as soon as it is located within a radius of 70 metres. You can also set to send out a signal once the suitcase moves out of the radius. A handy solution when you are travelling by train or by bus not being able to keep an eye on your suitcase.’

If your suitcase gets lost anyway, you will be able in the long term to rely on the assistance of the community of Samsonite app users.  Deruyck: ‘You will be able to register your suitcase as being lost in the app. If another app user enters a radius of 70 metres around your suitcase, that signal will be picked up and registered in the cloud. The receiver whose suitcase is lost, will find out the location and time via the app.

Samsonite especially stresses the importance of a safe technology. So far, only two ready-to-use prototypes of this smart suitcase are available. By the end of the year, Samsonite will launch a first limited series on the European market. Edouard Wattel, communication manager at Samsonite: ‘We don’t know the exact number as yet. The price will probably be 10 tot 15 percent higher than the price for our strongest and lightest suitcases.’

In The Pocket is a Ghent-based digital agency that has already developed the Travlr-app for Samsonite. In scarcely one year it worked its way up to the top of the digital world. They work on behalf of major multinationals and developed all requests for Music For Life, Kinepolis, VT4, Sporza but also Mars, M & M and Volkswagen.

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