Luggage is long overdue for some serious innovation. The last big breakthrough — wheeled suitcases — rolled out in 1970. Crowdfunded startups and established luggage companies seem to have suddenly realized the market opportunity, and they are adding Wi-Fi hot spots, Bluetooth, SIM cards, GPS and built-in batteries to their products.
One of the most tantalizing promises of "smart luggage" is the potential to track bags throughout your journeys, in case a parcel goes AWOL. These new luggage tracking systems are generally designed to shut down when your bag is stored onboard a plane and then turn on again upon landing, to meet regulations that govern the use of wireless technology during flights.
It's too soon to tell if self-tracking luggage is just a gimmick or a true travel breakthrough, because few of these futuristic bags are publicly available. Still, it may be prudent to wait a few months before you buy your next bag … just in case.