RIMOWA is a high end German luggage brand who has recently created the first fully integrated digital suitcase by the use of the RIMOWA Electronic Tag – an idea that could change the travel industry forever. The Tag displays baggage info in the same format, size and appearance of typical paper labels, but on a digital screen built into the suitcase unit and located near the handle.
Using this new technology, travelers will be able to check-in their luggage from home using their smartphone and drop it off at the airport in seconds.
RIMOWA’S electronic tag is essentially an E Ink display with the same width as a standard paper luggage tag. It uses Bluetooth radio to take data from either RIMOWA’S dedicated app or supported airline apps. Right now these are only available on iOS. The RIMOWA app is for initiation as well as switching the tag to contact information mode — so that the E Ink display can still be of good use if your airline or airport don’t support electronic tags. As for the airline app, simply use its luggage check-in tool to sync the electronic tag, then just drop the suitcase off at a dedicated airport counter. You still must have your ID validated, however.
The electronic tag module is powered by two AAA batteries which can refresh the display up to about 800 times per charge. And due to the nature of E Ink, the image is retained even if the module runs out of battery. Additionally, just like the suitcases themselves, the E Ink display is also covered by Rimowa’s five-year warranty.
Potential future uses for the e-tags could allow airlines to provide passengers with info about their luggage, like the 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.
This new tag is still in the early days and right now, Lufthansa is the only airline that’s been supporting this service. But United Airlines is already testing it, and several other airlines are in discussion with RIMOWA so there’s a good chance more airlines will be using this new tag very soon, as RIMOWA’S intent is to have the e-tag as a standard for the industry in years to come.