If you’re not in the market for new luggage or don’t want to pay for a pricey smart bag, you can still add smart capabilities to your existing bag. A device called the AirBolt provides a nice alternative to smart bags.
The AirBolt is a travel lock with a number of built-in smart features. It pairs with a smartphone using Bluetooth, which allows the owner to lock and unlock their bag with their phone as long as it is within range. If the connected device runs out of power, users can unlock the AirBolt manually with a backup button code.
In addition to wireless locking, the AirBolt also has tracking capabilities so travelers can locate their bag on a phone, proximity alerts that buzz if the bag is left behind or stolen, and a log that shows every time the AirBolt was unlocked. It works with Apple and Android devices.
The lock itself uses a stainless steel rope that threads easily through a zipper. The makers of the AirBolt promise that it will be compliant with the TSA’s standardized keys and, for added security, travelers can electronically revoke TSA access if they are traveling in a country that doesn’t follow TSA standards.
The AirBolt was created by an Australian inventor and has raised more than $250,000 on the crowd-funding site Indiegogo. It comes in six colors and is expected to start shipping in October. Travelers can pre-order an AirBolt at Indiegogo for $70 Australian, which is about $53 in the U.S.
Smart bags that connect to a traveler’s mobile device are one of the hottest trends in the luggage industry. They typically offer a number of innovative features, including location tracking, internal scales, USB charging ports, and digital locking. Smart bags vary widely in price, though a carry-on bag by the leader in the segment, Bluesmart, sells for $399.
This entertaining Youtube clip shows the AirBolt in action: