Cape Town - In 2015, 23.1 million pieces of baggage were mishandled worldwide, meaning they were temporarily or permanently lost.
Of these 23.1 million pieces, the vast majority is successfully delivered back to the passengers, thankfully. For an unfortunate 6% of all mishandled baggage owners are never reunited with their belongings.
But thanks to modern technology, innovators are closing that 6% gap steadily. Whether it be with GPS technology, smart robotics, it seems that in all cases, the tables are turning when it comes to you finding your lost bags...
Luggage is becoming smart enough to find YOU instead.
Check out these three innovations that aren't in the elusive 'Future of Travel'... they're actually here!
HomingPIN smart tags
This handy little device - HomingPIN - recently launched new luggage tags and labels that are digital and smart, which means that lost items can be returned using modern technology.
The HomingPIN baggage loops with tags, key rings and stickers that have a unique identification number on them are already available in SA, and is effective when the unique number gets activated online prior to travelling.
Then, when luggage is lost and someone finds a cellphone, keys, baggage, or any other item that has a HomingPIN tag on it, they can notify the owner by visiting HomingPIN online and entering the unique identification number, as well as their contact details.
The owner is then immediately notified via SMS and email and is able to contact the founder to retrieve their belongings.
Keeping smart security in mind, finders are not given the owner’s contact details or any other personal information, so it is up to the owner to make contact first.
SEE: Lost luggage? New, smart tags helps you find lost items all over the world
HomingPIN tags, stickers and key rings allow you to tag a variety of items including, but not limited to, luggage, laptop computers, mobile phones, keys, wallets and passports.
Check it out -
Samsonite's new Track&Go bags
The luggage giants also won't lag behind. A new Track&Go innovative luggage tracking solution from Vodafone and Samsonite was introduced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week.
Track&Go is a device that can be put into your travel or business bag, and can easily and privately be tracked by its owner.
Together with Vodafone, Samsonite say they are excited about the advantages that Narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT) technology can bring. This technology will allow a new generation of telemetry tags to be built which are less intrusive and more efficient, using less power so can accommodate smaller batteries with a longer life.
The Track&Go solution is based on two principles: proximity alerts and geolocation. Thanks to the proximity alerts integration, you will instantly receive a smartphone notification when your bag gets out of your range.
This will enable you to confidently leave your luggage in the dedicated compartment, while still enjoying your trip without any stress, for instance when travelling by train.
In case your bag gets lost, you will be able to see its current location and the necessary contact details to get your belongings back, if applicable.
Samsonite will be trialling a new longer battery life, wider range technology with Vodafone, as an additional option for their Track&Go solution.
Travelmate Robotics' follow-me bag
While there's a lot of innovation in terms of finding lost luggage, there is also new products on the matter that make for a more streamlined trip.
Carrying your own luggage is old school, says Travelmate Robotics, which is why they created a fully autonomous smart suitcase that can go up to 10km/h.
This means that if you're running through the airport to make it to your gate in time, your suitcase will simply speed after your without you having to touch it!
The sleek-looking carry-on bag has vertical and horizontal autonomous modes, and will cost you around R5 200 to buy.
Check it out -
What to read next on Traveller24:
- Everything you need to know about the new Security System at OR Tambo
- Lost luggage? New, smart tags helps you find lost items all over the world
- Unattended baggage