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Have you just received Ryanair’s umpteenth seaside holiday newsletter or the thirteenth Idee group notification for the summer season? They’re right to hassle you: last minute is so last year; these days the perfect journey is the smart journey.
It doesn’t matter how often you travel: departure anxiety begins well before you get to the airport. Even at home, as you sit in front of your computer planning your itinerary and calculating connections, or fret over your open suitcase - and if you’re a true pro you started packing a couple of days ago at least - the worries have already begun. Especially the biggest one of all, the one that continues until you board the plane:
A group of serial travellers decided to tackle the luggage problem themselves, combining technology and design to create the best possible suitcase: one that weighs itself and never gets lost.
Since the Seventies, when wheeled suitcases were introduced, they’ve actually not changed all that much. True, materials are updated and locks have become more robust, but the design has stayed the same: a pair of wheels, a rectangular body, a pull-out handle. Sometimes there are four wheels. But that’s it.
The need for change was demonstrated by an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for the Bluesmart project, which reached 2730% of funding in a very short time.
But what are the features it offers for your journey? To start with, although it looks like just a more elegant version of similar products, Bluesmart is the first suitcase that’s designed to connect to your smartphone.
By doing this - via the iOS or Android app - the smart suitcase can solve the main, and most annoying, problems that may crop up during a journey. From your smartphone, you can activate the locking function and use the built-in scale to weigh the case, handy before departure and very useful on the return journey, when you’ve added gifts and shopping. And the integrated GPS will tell you its location at any time.
And that’s not all: the suitcase also contains a battery, allowing you to charge your phone, tablet or e-reader. No more fighting over the sockets at the airport during stopovers or waiting until you get to the hotel to upload your photos to Instagram.
What’s more, the Bluesmart app features a useful addition for frequent travellers: it keeps track of your movements and timetables, memorising frequent routes and preferred transport options, enabling it to come up with personalised suggestions and solutions in advance.
Indeed, anyone who travels a lot will know how important it is to optimise timing. With this in mind, Bluesmart is made to the dimensions accepted by major airlines, and has a separate pocket for your laptop and other devices, to make pre-boarding checks smoother.
No more excuses, it’s time to leave. Or, at least, to open Skyscanner.