This May, two smart luggage firms have shut down and they are claiming the cause of this is the change of airline policies regarding how lithium batteries can be carried on board planes.

According to Raden and Bluesmart, this change which was made by many major airlines back in December 2017 has made business for these firms impossible.

As a result of these rules, luggage needs to have removable batteries.

The smart suitcases come with a built-in phone charger, location awareness and weight sensors – but all need battery power to function.

“…our intent was to add ease and simplicity to your travel experience and this unforeseen policy change has made this impossible,” Raden said in a message on its website, spotted by The Verge.

Smart luggage by Bluesmarts did not have removable batteries at all.

The firm said in an announcement online that its news is “bittersweet” adding that it had sold its intellectual property to US suitcase brand Travelpro.

‘Veritable minefield’

Raden and Bluesmart said users can continue to use the luggage app but they can’t make refunds and replacements to customers.

Raden suitcases can be purchased at $295 and are still stocked by some retailers.

As of the time of writing this, Bluesmart suitcases can be purchased from Amazon UK with a starting price of £364 ($490).

According to CCS Insight analyst, Ben Wood, the changes to the rules had created confusion at check-in because travellers weren’t sure whether they could travel with their luggage.

“The integration of Li-ion batteries and radio technologies such as Bluetooth and cellular connections was always going to make smart luggage a veritable minefield,” Ben Wood told BBC.

“Given the complex regulations around what you can and can’t take on to a plane, it is little surprise it has become an issue.”

Source: BBC

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