Never lose your bag again: Smart luggage and more

Follow your luggage

Follow your luggage

Don’t experience the pain of lost luggage again with our guide to smart cases that mean your bags will never be more than a quick glance at your smartphone away…

• We look at five new ‘smart’ options to keep your luggage connected
• Get a helping hand from other trackable travel-related gadgets, too
• Don’t just track luggage… keep an eye on what’s going on at home

Never lose your underpants again… take a look at our guide to smart luggage designed to ensure your bags have the same holiday plans as you.

Bluesmart… luggage that’s on the case

Bluesmart... it's a clever case

Bluesmart… it’s a clever case

Due in December 2015, the Bluesmart carry-on bag is the 21.5x14x9in bundle of trackable trickery that everyone’s talking about. Features include a built-in 3G sim card alongside Bluetooth and GPS positioning. Other features comprise a digital lock – which can be activated via the app – battery charger with enough juice to pleasure your mobile around six times and a handy internal set of scales. When it comes to tracking, there’s the sim card and GPS for global locating, along with Bluetooth for proximity alerts – should you walk away from the case… or it walks away from you. There’s no ongoing fee to track, either.
How much: Around £265 to pre-order – increasing to around £300 at launch
Where: Pre-order the Bluesmart trackable case here

See more: Find out all about the Bluesmart’s features here

Trunkster… the suitcase moves forward

Track and charge with Trunkster

Track and charge with Trunkster

Available in carry-on or check-in versions, the Trunkster includes GPS tracking, internal scales via the handle and an onboard battery to please your hand-held devices. There’s no Bluetooth for creating proximity alerts, but for around £40 extra, you can get GPS to make sure your smalls are never more than a glance at your smartphone away. Another smart design feature is the axing of zips in favour of ‘sliding’ doors for quick, easy access. Delivery is expected to start in January 2016, but you can pre-order now using the link below.
How much: £240 with GPS tracking option
Where: Get the lowdown on the Trunkster here

See more: Watch the Trunkster put through its paces on video.

Pluggage… you choose the features – vote now

Plug in luggage for the connected traveller

Plug in luggage for the connected traveller

Another smart case that could soon be on the market; the Pluggage project is currently seeking design priorities through an online vote. The public are being asked to choose the features they’d really want on the suitcase – sorting the geek-pleasers from the genuinely useful. Features up for consultation include:

Fingerprint I.D to open the case via your smartphone
Onboard detection: The case will let you know it’s made it onto the plane
Check lock: Use the app to check the case is still locked at any time
Flight information: Enter the flight number in the app to synchronise with the case
Battery: Charge your phone and other devices
Head to the site (find address below) to place your vote.

How much: £tbc
Where: Find out the latest and place your vote here

See more: Watch the Pluggage promo video here

Planet Traveler Space Case… appy days for travellers

Space Case will keep in touch

Space Case will keep in touch

Another case that’s still in the fundraising stage, but with almost a $1million pledged, there’s a good chance it’ll make production soon. Open or lock it using your fingerprint on the accompanying app, or simply track it around the world from the very same phone – what more could you want? How about internal scales, Bluetooth for proximity alerts – whether it’s leaving you or arriving on the luggage carousel – and a virtual concierge feature that’ll check how your trip is shaping up for delays and extras such as car hire. It comes in a range of colours, too.
How much: £210 for a carry-on and £240 for a check-in case
Where: Find out more here

See more: Click below to check out the Spacecase in action on video

Prime Lite luggage tracker… cost-effective tracking anywhere

Get a fast, cheap solution for luggage tracking with the Prime Lite

Get a fast, cheap solution for luggage tracking with the Prime Lite

With many smart bags and cases still in development, grabbing a standalone tracker is an instant solution for anyone who wants to go ‘live’ right away. The budget-priced Prime Lite tracker can be slipped in your case before beaming its GPS co-ordinates every five seconds from around the world. The device and your luggage can be tracked via a smartphone app or desktop computer. You’ll need to buy GPS tracking credits, which cost from £35 for a month’s unlimited tracking to £130 for the same over a 12-month period. During those times when it’s not following your smalls, the tracker can be used for keeping tabs on family members, pets, cars and myriad other uses.

How much: £85 plus tracking credits from £35 for a month’s unlimited alerts.
Where: Get full details here

More tracking for travellers

Why stop at bags… here are some more tracking-related gadgets to pack in your smart bags…

It's not just bags that travellers can track

It’s not just bags that travellers can track

Holidays are supposed to be relaxing, so why not let modern technology share the burden by grabbing a few of these gadgets and apps to help keep an eye on things for you.

1) Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor –track your health
Millions of Brits need to track their blood pressure, so using this wireless device makes an excellent solution for those heading abroad. Simply slip it on your arm and let it pass all the essential information straight to your smartphone. It works with both Android and iOS devices and can be used to provide a full history of readings on easily viewable graphs on your phone or online account. The app provides instant feedback based on World Health Organisation standards. You can even share results with your doctor straight from the sunlounger.
How much: £89.99
Where: Find more details here

See more: Click below to watch a short video of the device in action

2) GateGuru – track and plan your journey
The TripAdvisor-backed GateGuru app helps take the guesswork from your journey and lets you track the progress of how your trip’s behaving and if any problems are unfolding. Enter your trip details into GateGuru and it’ll use various tracking sources to ‘connect the dots’, generating up to date detailed info on where to check in, airport weather conditions, estimated security wait times and a rundown on airport amenities. You can even use the app to track your historic travels; with stats such as total miles covered, airlines used plus countries and airports visited.
How much: Download the app for free
Where: Download for iPhone or Android here

3) ICEdot Crash Sensor – it’s your guardian angel
Planning some solo cycling or skiing on your hols? Make sure you save space in your case for the ICEdot Crash Sensor. This potential lifesaver clips to your safety helmet, syncs with your smartphone and alerts emergency contacts if it detects a serious impact. It’ll also share your GPS co-ordinates allowing rescuers to quickly find you.
How much: From £86.36
Where: Buy the ICEdot here

See more: Click below to watch a video of the ICEdot in action

4) Life 360
Going on holiday with a large group of friends and family, or perhaps your kids are going away on a school trip? Use this clever smartphone app to keep track of where everyone is. It might seem like a snoopers’ charter, but all members have to give permission and actively join a group, so don’t call Shami Chakrabati of Liberty just yet. Simply set up a group, invite your family or friends to join and get instant access to members’ locations. Great for those holidaying with older kids, or younger offspring going to holiday clubs etc. The app includes instant messaging to individual members or entire groups. The app uses a GPS tracker allowing you to follow all members of your family in real time. The system does require Wi-Fi or 3G connection to fully operate all functions, so make sure you buy a data bundle for your mobile. How much: Free
Where: Download for Android, Apple and Windows devices here.

Android
iOS
Windows

See more: Click below to see more on video

5) Buddy Tag Child Tracker – ensure your kids remain safe
It’s part of a toddler’s job description to make a dash for freedom in busy airports and holiday resorts, so fraught parents could well do with a helping hand. Meet the Buddy Tag Child Tracker; a wristband using Bluetooth tech to alert your smartphone (and you) if the escaping youngster moves beyond a certain distance. Additionally, the tag will alert you if it becomes submerged in water to help prevent accidents in holiday pools or at the beach. Kids can also push a panic button on the wristband to let you know if they’re in need of help. Buddy Tag works with iPhone from 4s onwards and Samsung Galaxy S3, S4, S5, Note2 and Note3 with Android 4.3 and above.
How much: £39.99
Where: Get your Buddy Tag Wristband here

See more: Click below to watch the Buddy Tag Child Tracker video
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6) TrackR Sticker – for keys, phones or just about anything…
Your toddler might enjoy the spectacle of watching you scour a huge sandy beach for the freshly buried hire car/appartment keys – but we’re not sure it’ll top your list of holiday highlights. Not a problem if you’ve got a TrackR Sticker. Small enough to stick on keys, fobs, phones or items such as passports, it’ll pair with your smart phone and use Bluetooth to alert you if the items stray from your proximity – using a funky radar-like distance indicator to show how far you are from the item. There’s also an alarm allowing you to locate them. It works with iPhone or Android. They’re just 4.1mm thick, have a range of up to 45metres and a battery that lasts a year.
How much: From £16.50 plus shipping
Where: Find our more information and order the TrackR Sticker here

See more: Click below to see a rundown of how the TrackR Sticker works

Track what’s going on at home…

You might be on holiday, but it doesn’t mean that life stands still at home. Keep track of what’s going on with pets, plants and other domestic occurrences direct from your sunlounger. Click on the hotspots below to find out how.

Track your home…

Control your home from your holiday

Control your home from your holiday

You might be on holiday, but it doesn’t mean that life stands still back at home. Keep track of what’s going on with pets, plants and other domestic occurrences direct from your sun lounger… here’s how

HOME HEATING THAT TRACKS YOU
The Tado system follows your smartphone’s location via GPS and turns the heating up or down the further away or closer to home you get. You can set minimum or maximum temps for when you’re in or out – ensuring the goldfish tank won’t freeze over as you head to Australia for a month. It’s great for saving money, too, with Tado claiming its smart thermostat will help consumers save an average 27 percent in heating costs – about £180 per year.
HOW MUCH: £199.00
WHERE: Currys.co.uk

TRACK YOUR PLANTS’ NEEDS
You might be well-watered as you sip on a pina colada and slip in for a dip while lounging in the grounds of your 5-star hotel – but are your prized plants fighting for life back at home? Can you really trust your 16-year-old stay-at-home offspring to drag himself away from a week-long orgy of online gaming to discharge his flower-watering duties? No need to fret, simply grab the Parrot Flower Power – a unique sensor that sits in the ground or pot and assesses plants’ needs and sends alerts directly to your smartphone. Monitoring and analysing sunlight, temperature, fertilizer and moisture levels in the soil or compost, Flower Power will send an alert to your phone when you need to give your appointed plant-carer a subtle nudge towards the watering can. Advice is targeted to individual needs selected from the developer’s database for more than 6,000 plants. The app is free and available for both Android and Apple devices.
HOW MUCH: £49.99 for the sensor
WHERE: parrot.com/uk/products/flower-power/

TRACK WHO’S CALLING ON YOU
Want to know who’s knocking on your door while you’re away on holiday? The The Ring™ Video Doorbell is the answer for you. With two-way communication and a HD camera with night vision you can always be in. When someone rings the bell, your smartphone calls you and you can see who’s at the door and talk directly to them – from the beach, pool or wherever you are. The system also has a motion detector to alert you of movement on your property. You can even record all footage to the Cloud.
HOW MUCH: £132.00
WHERE: ring.com/

LET THERE BE LIGHT
Want to control your lighting while you’re away? A simple on-off timed socket isn’t really enough to fool your neighbourhood housebreakers, but installing Philips Hue connected lightbulbs certainly can. Turn them on, off and dim them directly from your smartphone – just like you were home and flicking the switch with your very own finger. You can even make pre-set levels and ‘hues’ for while you’re away or back home. Simply buy the bulbs, screw them in and connect them to the Wi-Fi hub. From here, download the app and take control from wherever you lay your hat.
HOW MUCH: From £49.95
WHERE: johnlewis.com

TRACK SAFETY WITH A SMART SMOKE ALARM BATTERY
The Roost Smart Battery is a Wi-Fi-enabled power supply that turns any smoke detector into a smart device that can speak to your smartphone wherever you are in the world. The system will not only keep you up to date with battery level, but also let you know when the smoke alarm goes off – allowing you to notify a neighbour or the emergency services directly from your sunlounger. Takes just minutes to install… no wires, not drilling, just fit the battery and download a smartphone app.
HOW MUCH: £28.00 approx (lasts around five years, according to designers)
WHERE: smartroost.net

KEEP TRACK OF PETS WHILE YOU’RE AWAY
Simply fit a lightweight collar to your pet and enjoy live tracking sent straight to your mobile phone or tablet wherever you are in the world. You can even set up zones, where automatic alerts are sent should your home-alone pet step beyond its limits – allowing you to alert your pet-sitter. Updates are sent via a sim card with a pay-as-you-go GiffGaff option costing around 5p for 1000 messages.
HOW MUCH: From £125 (for a cat)
WHERE: www.pawtrax.co.uk/

TRACK YOUR PETS’ FEEDING
You’ll probably have a friend or relative feeding your pet, but what happens when they’re not there – or if you’re just going away for a few days and can’t get any kitty cover? Not a problem, dispense treats or schedule main feeds using your smartphone from wherever you are in the world. The feeding robot will serve up dry food, then report back to your phone confirming the meal was delivered and how many calories your pet has received. The feeder will also report back if there was a malfunction or jam – so you won’t be coming back to a hungry and distinctly cross cat! The system can also be fitted with an accessory to provide water.
HOW MUCH: £165.59
WHERE: petnet.io

LET A WELCOME HOME COFFEE TRACK YOUR PROGRESS
You’ve just flown through the night and now you’re heading for home… if only you could be welcomed by a steaming hot jug of freshly brewed coffee! Hold, on, it turns out that you can. Simply buy the Belkin Mr Coffee machine, hook it up to the W-Fi, download the accompanying WeMo app and you’ll be able to schedule 10 cups of the black stuff ready for your return. Surely this is what Wi-Fi and smartphones have always been destined for?
HOW MUCH: From £100.00 (additional WeMo products required)
WHERE: belkin.com

TRACK YOUR CAR WHILE AWAY
If you’ve parked your car with APH you’ll have nothing to worry about, but you might still be concerned with a second car that’s been left at home…That’s where Carlock steps in. Simply plug the small device in to your car’s diagnostic port, download the app and your wheels will never be more than a glance at your smartphone away. The system will show you exactly where your car is – and let you follow it in real time should it be stolen. You can also set ‘lock’ areas, defining an area in which your car must remain. The app will also alert you if your car battery is running low and risking a non-start when your return from holiday.
HOW MUCH: £99.50 + £5.50/pm tracking fee
WHERE: carlock.co

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