According to a report by TripAdvisor, the American travel website company that provides reviews of travel-related content, 42 per cent of travelers use smartphones to plan, book, and accede to news about travel. The travel website claims that these tech-savvy frequent travelers are looking for devices that streamline and improve the travel experience. The study states that 72 per cent of the connected travelers use a smartphone or other wearable device as part of their travel routine.
With smart-wearable-devices emerging around the globe, the expectations of connected are also evolving. Travelers want to be informed real-time about events related to their journey. They want to be alerted and informed about ways to enhance their trip, avoid potential disruptions, discover new opportunities, and make connections with other travelers.
Piggybacking on the concept of, connected devices, online retailer of luggage, accessories and bags, eBags, is bringing an eco-system of connected travel devices to life by launching the eBags Connected Traveler Hub. eBags has partnered with a Denver-based IoT company, Iterate Studio, to position itself as the e-commerce hub for connected travelers around the globe. Iterate studio is a practitioner of Open Innovation in the digital space that discovers and curates emerging technologies and implements proof-of-value tests for its global client base.
idIoT proof luggage
eBags will leverage partnerships with retailers, travel companies, top developers, and innovators in IoT to keep travelers connected. The eBags Connected Tag will be among the first proprietary products to bring connectivity in travel through a mobile tagging system attached to a traveler’s luggage or bags. For example, eBags’ smart tracking devices can attach to the personal belongings and keep track misplaced phones, bags and keys in seconds.
The company has also introduced Bluesmart luggage and app that connects to the suitcase to control it from the smartphone, giving alerts, and tracking travel data to get insights about travel habits. The luggage, that has an inbuilt charger, comes with a digital lock that can be remotely be operated via the app on the smartphone, a location tracking system, a digital scale which informs the traveler about the weight of the luggage on the app, distant alerts which notify proximity, and real-time reports with trends and data from trips, including miles traveled, airports visited, time spent in each country through the Bluesmart app. Interestingly the Bluesmart technology has also tied up with Uber to retrieve lost baggage.
Mike Edwards, Chief Executive Officer of eBags, says:
“Building and partnering with unique, high-tech products and services that connect the traveler to his or her travel experiences is a natural evolution for the eBags brand. One of the reasons 40 million people shop on eBags.com every year is because of our forward-thinking approach to product innovation. And, by working with like-minded partners, we are poised to offer a unique Connected Traveler Hub.”
Relationship with Iterate Studio
Last year, eBags teamed up with Iterate Studio to quicken the pace of its digital innovation, jointly creating a two-part Innovation Lab with resources positioned in Denver, Silicon Valley, India, and Ukraine. The Innovation Lab consists of two elements, a Rapid Test Center designed to improve the velocity and number of experiments conducted on eBags’ websites each month. The workflow would speed up absorption of unique digital tools that are proven to improve shopping on the ecommerce platform. The second was a Digital R&D Lab that would deliver IoT and business model enhancements for eBags. Both Labs were set to leverage Iterate Studio and Iterate.ai. Iterate’s team uncovers, curates, and validates emerging digital technologies from around the world and searches for technologies that can be applied immediately to enhance digital journeys for shoppers and employees.
The partnership between Iterate Studio and eBags, created in September 2015, has tested between eight and 12 startup technologies each quarter. Now the partnership is bringing unique IoT technologies into development for the Connected Traveler Hub, which will serve as the single destination for travelers to keep all of their items connected, tracked and updated. eBags is interested in partnering with companies in this vertical that offer unique and useful connected services or products to travelers.
“Whether a weekend warrior or constantly on-the-road, we look forward to leveraging our partnership with eBags to create cutting-edge products to help travelers conveniently access information and drive the best overall experience for each traveler,” says Jon Nordmark, CEO of Iterate Studio.