Samsonite has announced the introduction of Track&Go, a 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.
How it works
The Bluetooth beacon, which has been designed and manufactured by Accent Systems, will be built into the Track&Go suitcase. The beacon will use the new open Eddystone frame type, the Ephemeral Identifier (EID), recently released by Google.
The bag has to be registered by the owner through the Travlr by Samsonite app, which is available free of charge. Then the bag starts sending encrypted and rotating IDs.
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 app uses its user base to help the suitcase’s owner find it.
Should anyone else, using the 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.
This video from Accent Systems shows how it works.
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.
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. 5.5% of all mishandled baggage is never reunited with its owners.
N.B. Image credit: samsonite.com