Airline travel is a stressful experience. Putting aside the fact you’re about to sit on a chunk of delicate metal that’s going to go be propelled several thousand feet into the air, there are hundreds, if not thousands of things that can go wrong when traveling.
These include the fear of missing your flight, losing your precious luggage or suffering a much dreaded delay.
The Bluesmart connected carry-on aims to allay these concerns and offers travelers a secure, connected travel case that can be monitored and tracked, no matter what corner of the world it’s sitting in.
Having raised 2,730% of its crowdfunding target in 2015 and already having managed to get into selected retail outlets, this smartcase has certainly garnered plenty of interest. But can it justify its hefty £350 price tag?
Related: Best headphones 2016
As a straightforward suitcase the Bluesmart carry-on looks the part. It’s a four-wheeler that smoothly glides along airport walkways.
The internals offer a decent amount of packing space too – 34 cubic litres. Testing it I found that's enough space to pack everything you need for a long weekend. Well, so long as you’re not packing big items such as thick jackets and wellie boots.
At the front is a fold-down flap with integrated magnetic clasp. There’s enough space in the flap for a tablet, laptop and notebook.
The Bluesmart carry-on’s smart functions are controlled using an smartphone app. The app connects to the case via the Bluetooth Low Energy and works on both Android and iOS.
The Android app worked a treat during my test and let my Samsung Galaxy S5 connect immediately to the case. Once connected, the case offers a variety of smart features.
The undisputed crowning glory of this piece of kit is that it weighs itself using an inbuilt scale – and it does so rather well. To weigh the bag, you simply have to load the app on your phone, then lift and hold the case a few inches from a flat surface for a few seconds. From there the weight appears on the app, letting you quickly check if you’re above your airline’s carry-on limit.
Related: Best tablets 2016
A couple of USB outlets can be used to connect your smart devices to the case's inbuilt battery to use it as a portable charger. Bluesmart brags that the case can be used to charge a mobile phone up to six times. So, anything with a USB charging cable can be juiced on the move.
The app also provides a distance alert that warns you when you’ve moved a significant distance from the case – ensuring you can’t forget it when rushing around an airport, nor accidentally leave it at home.
The case also has a nifty array of anti-theft features, chief of which is GPS tracking. With the click of an in-app icon the case’s location pops up on Google Maps, making it easy to see where your luggage is.
The case also has an auto-lock feature that’ll activate when you step away from the case and unlock upon your return – Or you can use the included key. You can also use the app to open and close the case, though after a few times I reverted to using the old-school key.
On longer travels you can use the Bluesmart app to tell you how far you’ve flown, share details of your travels with others and plan itineraries. While this sounds useful, most planes offer equivalent services, which work better and don’t require a Wi-Fi or 3G signal – which most planes still don’t provide.
The Bluesmart carry-on is a great travel accessory for any tech fan. But its £350 price tag makes it an expensive option for regular travellers.
This would be fine if the smart features were must-have, unique items. But as it is, outside of its tracking features and self-weighing function, most smartphones or tablets provide equivalent, or superior, travel-planning services.
The Bluesmart carry-on is a nice luxury, but not a must-have, for any tech-savvy traveller.