Samsonite today announces the introduction of Track&Go, a sophisticated beacon device that can be built into Samsonite suitcases, allowing a case to be easily and privately tracked by its owner.
The Bluetooth beacon will use Eddystone Ephemeral Identifiers (EIDs), an open privacy/security protocol by Google. Samsonite aims to launch the first suitcases featuring the Track&Go solution in the European market at the end of 2016, followed by other international markets. The range will be competitively priced for such a premium technology product in order for it to become a real solution for travellers worldwide. Furthermore, given the potential of this solution, Track&Go might be extended to a broader range of business and travel bags in 2017.
In 2014, 24.1 million pieces of baggage were mishandled worldwide, meaning they were temporarily or permanently lost. Of these 24.1 million pieces, 85% were returned to their owners within 48 hours. Unfortunately, 5.5% of all mishandled baggage is never reunited with its owners.
“We’re excited to work with Google on this project to make sure that our beacons support Eddystone EIDs. Missing or permanently lost luggage is the nightmare of every traveller. As the world’s largest luggage manufacturer, we wanted to find a way to make this issue a thing of the past.” says Ramesh Tainwala, CEO of Samsonite. “As Samsonite is known for its innovative and reliable luggage and bags, we also wanted to work with an equally as innovative and reliable technology partner. By leveraging Google’s robust, secure and cross-platform approach, we feel confident that our customers will welcome this new solution.”
Reducing travel stress using a strong community network
The Bluetooth beacon, which has been designed and manufactured by Accent Systems, will be built into the Track&Go suitcase. It has to be registered by the owner through the Travlr by Samsonite app, which has been developed together with mobile agency In The Pocket and is available free of charge. The Travlr by Samsonite app was launched in September 2015 to offer flight tracking, tips and reminders when travelling. The new Track&Go feature will soon be built into the existing app allowing users to easily check the location of the suitcase within a distance of 70 meters, and also be notified if it is being moved closer or further away from the user. Should the suitcase go missing, the owner can easily flag it as lost in the app. Once flagged as ‘lost’, the Travlr by Samsonite app leverages its user base to help the suitcase's owner find it. Should anyone else, using the Travlr by Samsonite app, pass within 70 meters of the lost suitcase, an EID-based signal is picked up. This triggers a notification with location and time details of the suitcase to be sent out to the owner. Both the tracking and notification process take place at no additional cost for the users. With this concept, Samsonite reduces travel stress thanks to a community of app users that can assist each other in locating and retrieving missing suitcases in a totally anonymous and secure way.
The larger the community, the higher the chances of retrieving a lost suitcase, making it necessary to further expand the Travlr by Samsonite app user community. An important next step will be collaborating with airports and baggage handling companies to grow the network of fixed Bluetooth beacons in the vicinity of important travel hubs. Eventually, Samsonite expects that anyone with a smartphone will be able to help retrieve lost Samsonite suitcases and travel or business bags, thanks to the fast expansion of wirelessly connected devices. According to ABI Research, by 2020, a projected 40.9 billion of these connected devices are expected to enter what is called the ‘Internet of Things ecosystem’.