Expensive travel bags should do more than look good, and German high-end luggage manufacturer Rimowa would seem to agree. The company has developed an electronic luggage tag which displays baggage info in the same format, size and appearance of typical paper labels, but on a digital screen built into the unit and located near the handle.
The Rimowa e-tag is similar to a device tested by British Airways in 2013, which allowed travelers to attach it to any piece of luggage.
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Travelers these days can easily check into a flight and secure a boarding pass, printed or digital, before they step foot in the airport. Despite that convenience, they're often forced to stand in line to check their bags. Those with a Rimowa electronic tag-enabled bag can send their digital boarding info via Bluetooth from their smartphone to check their bag before they leave home, with details appearing on the bag's electronic display. After arriving at the airport, they simply hand it off at the airline's automated check-in station, avoiding at least one line.
Rimowa worked with Lufthansa, its official launch partner, to trial the system with select passengers in 2015, with March 14 this year set as the launch date. It's not yet determined what other airlines will also adopt the technology to process Rimowa's e-tags, but the results of its collaboration with Lufthansa were intended to create a standard for the industry.
The display is activated by a button inside the suitcase, so closing and locking the bag would keep it reasonably secure and make it difficult to manipulate the display. Potential future uses could allow airlines to provide passengers with info about their luggage, such as baggage carousel number or location of lost bags. It could also help airlines save time and resources otherwise spent on checking bags. The electronic tag is available across Rimowa's product line, including the corrugated aluminum Topas and the polycarbonate Limbo.
The system is introduced in the video below.