A California-based company has launched an Indiegogo campaign for an autonomous suitcase that it claims will dutifully follow you a and that too without grabbing its handle or drag it along.
In fact, the suitcase stays three to five feet behind a person by tracking his smartphone location.
As per David Near, the CEO of Travelmate Robotics, suitcases haven’t really been changed for the past couple of decades, which was overdue for long-time.
Near felt that the suitcase are useful for everyone including businessmen, tourists or the disabled. The Travelmate comes in three sizes, selling for $399, $495 and $595.
He further said that the suitcase has been tested successfully in shopping malls and he was also not concerned about the suitcase bumping into something in a crowded place, a ‘money.cnn.com’ report has said.
The prototype suitcase is mostly dependent on an infrared sensor to notice and avoid objects. However, final version,is expected to have a different sensor.
Till now, Near’s project has raised only about 3 percent of its $100,000 goal on Indiegogo. In case fund-raising doesn’t pick up, he will seek funding from investors, and still plan to make deliveries next summer.
Those who are travelling should temper their enthusiasm. The suitcase is only a prototype, and how it sees and avoids objects isn’t finalised yet. While the company’s video of the suitcase seems impressive, the suitcase still have to prove itself in crowded areas.
Another area of concern is the risk of theft. In case the suitcase is 15 feet from the owner’s smartphone, an alarm will sound on it. Also, there will be an alert sent to the person’s smartphone. The company is developing ways so that the alarm doesn’t go off when it’s normal to be separated from your bag, like checking a bag at an airport.