“Using Panasonic’s bluetooth technology for the smart suitcases is currently exclusive to Samsonite. The tech allows customers to use it for a host of things like sending an SOS message, locating one’s mobile phone even if its in silent mode and so on”
Travel luggage maker Samsonite along with consumer electronics player Panasonic is set to launch the internet of things (IoT)-based new generation travel suitcase in the Indian markets soon. The two global leaders have signed a strategic pact wherein Panasonic will provide technology for Samsonite’s smart baggage that will be sold through its exclusive brand outlets starting with the Diwali festival.
Jai Krishnan, chief executive officer, Samsonite South Asia, said that the intent is to provide the consumers with a superior technology-enabled piece of luggage which is feature-packed and changes the way they look at travel. “We have added some revolutionary features like a biometric locking system, an in-built weighing scale, and a USB port. For developing the bluetooth tracking software, Panasonic was a natural choice. Adding their technology capabilities into our suitcases will provide the consumers a smarter and more efficient way to travel,” said Krishnan, adding that the intelligent features and smart design along with Panasonic SeekitTM fits well with the company’s designs and in the lives of the tech-savvy, on-the-go users.
Christened Samsonite EVOA Tech, the new suitcase allows consumers to record up to (and later switch out) 10 selected fingerprints within the device thus allowing the suitcases to be borrowed or accessed by friends and family. It also comes with an anti-theft zipper and aero trac suspension wheels. An innovative, stress-reducing smart feature, the SeekitTM bluetooth tracker, by Panasonic has been introduced keeping the contemporary and tech-savvy travellers around the globe in mind. The bluetooth feature also allows the owner to track the suitcase using a mobile application, within 100 feet radius.
Manish Sharma, president and chief executive officer, Panasonic India and South Asia, said the IoT-based solution is a Panasonic intellectual property (IP) developed at the company’s innovation centre in India. “Using our bluetooth technology for the smart suitcases is currently exclusive to Samsonite. The tech allows customers to use it for a host of things like sending an SOS message, locating one’s mobile phone even if its in silent mode and so on. Going forward, we will look at using this bluetooth tech in other sectors like the automotive industry where it can be built-in the car keys and so on,” said Sharma.
Targeted at the higher end of the market, Samsonite is targeting to sell at least 3,000 such suitcases once introduced in the market during the upcoming festive season. While its exact pricing has not been finalised, Krishnan said it will be sold at a premium of 10% to 15% of its Richmond brand that carries a price tag of Rs 25,000 to Rs 27,000 and above. To be rolled-out from its Hong Kong operations, the Samsonite EVOA Tech will be retailed in phases across 18 countries viz. India, Philippines, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, Middle East (selected countries), China, Indonesia, and Australia.