INNOVATION

Samsonite launches personal global luggage tracker

Tracking device can transmit a bag’s location every 20-30 minutes using an array of wireless communications resources

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 06 July, 2017, 12:16am
UPDATED : Thursday, 06 July, 2017, 1:18pm

Samsonite International, the world’s largest travel luggage company, has launched an advanced global tracking device that can transmit a bag’s location every 20 to 30 minutes using an array of wireless communications resources.

The new Tumi Global Locator, now available in the United States and set for worldwide release this December, delivers real-time data through a free mobile application for devices on both Android and Apple iOS platforms.

“This is a game changer for us because this electronics device can be used with all types of luggage,” Ramesh Tainwala, the global chief executive at Hong Kong-listed Samsonite, told the South China Morning Post on Wednesday.

“More than 21.6 million bags were mishandled globally last year, which means 5.7 bags were lost per 1,000 passengers,” Tainwala said. “While airports and airlines are investing in technology to track luggage under their respective jurisdictions, the Tumi Global Locator puts that ability into travellers’ hands.”

The sleek locator measures 10.99 x 6.47 x 2.11 centimetres and weighs 150 grams, making it roughly the size of a typical smartphone power bank. It uses Global Positioning System, Wi-fi, Bluetooth and 2G Global System for Mobile technologies to track the location of the luggage or bag in which it has been placed.

In comparison, other tracking devices in the market solely use Bluetooth that only has a range of 20 to 30 metres.

While airports and airlines are investing in technology to track luggage under their respective jurisdictions, the Tumi Global Locator puts that ability into travellers’ hands
Ramesh Tainwala, global chief executive at Hong Kong-listed Samsonite

Tainwala said the wireless locator was co-developed over a five-year period by Samsonite subsidiary Tumi, New Jersey-based technology company LugTrack and telecommunications network operator AT&T, which will provide global connectivity for the device.

The device has been cleared by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on radio frequency testing for airlines and airports, and all personal information are secured by the global network provider.

Under FAA requirements, the device powers down upon take off and wakes up upon landing to send notifications to the traveller every 20 to 30 minutes.

The Tumi locator sells for US$200, which includes a year of wireless location tracking service. Annual service plan renewals cost about US$50.

“We understand that one of the most stressful parts of any journey is the risk of losing your luggage, be that temporarily or permanently,” Tainwala said. “The goal of the Tumi Global Locator is to make this a concern of the past.”