Going Digital - Carry On

As technology advances, there are all sorts of industries that have been taking advantage of the miniturization of techn. One that has been untouched until the last 1-2 years has been the luggage market. Now we are the middle of a change as luggage has started to become smart, and I'm going to be reviewing one. 

Recently I was made aware of a company called Barracuda that is still in the midst of creating their luggage. I preordered from Barracuda to recieve my red luggage from them and waited for the promised September ship date. I was excited for what Barracuda had to offer... until I looked more into the company. Crowd funded projects have not only helped create great companies, but also has helped create great scams, and being able to tell them apart can sometimes be an art.

Looking into Barracuda left me with some reservations. Constant delays not announced until the last minute, no deliveries despite claims that people were getting deliveries. My shipping date was moved, though they didn't admit it until I asked for a refund. Many excuses for delayed shipping, the San Fransciso company address was only a mail receiving service. The only reviews of the product seemed to be from 2 people that may have been connected to the company.

This is not to say the company will not deliver, this may very well be the case, but I wasn't willing to put my money on it, so I had the company issue a refund to me and they obliged.

The smart technology for my carry-on seemed like a good idea. Being able to have your phone alert you to luggage you might have left someplace. Integrated weight scales, and probably the most important is a usb charging port built into the luggage itself. Charge all your devices from the suitcase.

Some of the features are less useful than others. Integrating a scale into the luggage seems pointless for a carry-on. Carry-on luggage tends to be small and size restricted, but almost never is their a weight limit on this type of luggage. I can see the use case for checked luggage, but not carry-on.  

I looked into a number of companies that had luggage I could actually buy right now. In my research I was able to find 3-4 companies. The most well known right now being Bluesmart, and it looks like a great piece of luggage, except that it is quite expensive and seems to offer only one design/color. If you want the gold standard right now though, Bluesmart is the one.

I actually settled on Raden, a hard shelled carry-on that has many of the features you want including tracking, weight scale and power ports. The price point is about correct and it comes in many colors to not only fit what you want but also to tell it apart from the 1 million other people carrying black luggage. The one downside is that it is a four wheeled suitcase, and while I know some people prefer this type of luggage, I like the 2 wheel version. We'll see if Raden can bring me around. 

Set to arrive tomorrow, expect a review of the luggage after my trip to Africa. Before that I'll have an unboxing video placed on my new Youtube channel that will launch offcially with this unboxing. 

We'll see how useful these smart luggages are, or if they are a gimmick mascarading as innovation. Only trying it out will tell on this one.