Airbus Unveils Prototype iPhone-Enabled Smart Luggage
The bags include RFID chips for next-generation airline baggage handling and a barcode that syncs with an iPhone app that includes a 'Find My Bag' feature that hooks into airline databases to give you up-to-the-minute data on the bags location. They also have a digital scale built into the handle of the bag that talks to the iPhone's app.
Flyers simply lift up on the handle and the digital scale makes sure the bag is beneath an airline's weight limit. The airline believes the bags would cost some 20% more than comparable 'dumb' bags.
Christened 'Bag2Go', the concept has been developed in partnership with mobile carrier T-Mobile and German luggage maker Rimowa.Airbus says it would not sell the bags directly but could license the technology to partner airlines.
An RFID chip inside the bag lets it work with the increasing number of automated airport and airline baggage-handling systems which can 'pair' smartchipped bagtags with your itinerary and frequent flyer number.
A barcode on the bag’s trip-specific label syncs it against your iPhone and can be passed on to your airline booking.