The suitcase of the future will follow you around like a puppy
The biggest innovations in suitcases in the past year or two have been focused primarily on two things: Giving travelers the ability to track the location of their suitcase, and providing a backup battery for the many modern devices travelers carry.
But one company is taking it a step further: This suitcase follows where you lead.
"Any object can be smart and robotic," Alex Libman, co-founder and CEO of NUA Robotics, told Mashable. "We want to bring robots into everyday life."
A truly "smart" suitcase could find an eager market: Luggage company Bluesmart raised more than $2 million in crowdfunding on Indiegogo for a suitcase that can be tracked via smartphone, provides battery backup, and can tell travelers the suitcase's weight.
The NUA Robotics suitcase is upping the bar for "smart," though: By using an in-suitcase camera sensor as well as Bluetooth pairing through a smartphone app, the suitcase knows where its owner is, and can follow along (at least on flat surfaces).
While the prototype Mashable saw is very much in a testing phase, Libman hopes to make a version of the suitcase available to consumers in about a year.
And, he adds, the technology could be useful for a number of objects beyond suitcases. Libman gave the example of a shopping cart at the supermarket that would go with you around the store, eliminating the need to push it.
While pushing a shopping cart may not seem like the biggest inconvenience, the technology could prove especially useful for people with disabilities and the elderly. It could also be the convenience you never knew you needed: Who knew five years ago that pushing a button on your phone to call a car would become so popular?
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