First announced at the CES 2015, and the 2015 FTE luggage fair, Rimowa have attempted to create a smart bag technology with real world practical applications. We say this as, the world of smart bags is pretty bust at the moment. There are a number of young start-up brands launching bags with kickstarter campaigns full of tech. Items such as GPS bag tracking, inbuilt speaker, inbuilt charger, fingerprint locks, all very exciting stuff. But sadly, all ultimately useless.
The biggest contender seems to be GPS bag tracking. Which it appears is a "must" in the smart bag world. yet take a moment to think about this practically. You have boarded a plane and you get a notification your bag is on board, you take off contented. But what if you don't? What are you going to do? ground the plane because your bag didn't message you? The app may have had an issue, who knows, your bag may actually be on board. Suddenly, a useful technology is not quite so useful. In reality all it does is means you worry about having lost your bag for the whole flight, instead of when you land. It may be argued it saves time waiting on the carousel. But then again, the tech may have simply failed, as tech often does. And picture standing in the airport at the complaints desk as saying, "my bay didnt notify me I need to file a lost bag report NOW". The response will be "please wait till all the bags come off the plane". You still need to wait, but with the added bonus of flying worried you lost it already
The other technologies, inbuilt chargers etc, seem interesting, but with the exception of an inbuilt weighing scale, very useful in this world where the world maximum is now down to 28kg, they are all just gimmicks.
Now onto Rimowa. They have designed an e-ink display, app linked, and airline linked which will show a digital version of your luggage tag. Not only that, using this there are drop off lanes where you can simply place your checked luggage with its digital tag, and walk to security. Saving a considerable amount of time with check-in luggage queues.
This is a genuinely useful piece of tech that elevates Rimowa's elegant luggage to smart bag status without falling into the trap of the gimmicks so many other bag makers are going for. The technology is available now on Topas stealth, Topas titanium, Topas, Onyx, Salsa, Salsa Deluxe, Bossa Nova and Limbo cases. And cannot be retrofitted, with each electronic tag version costing a £50 premium.