bill-swift - October 10, 2012
If you've ever lost a piece of your luggage while you're out on your travels, then you'll find the concept of the Hop suitcase uber-cool. It's basically a compact suitcase that will follow its owner wherever he or she may go. It got its name from its human equivalent, the bellhops, who carry your luggage for you when you're checking in at your hotel.
It's being marketed as a hands-free suitcase and it succeeds to that effect. But I can't help but wonder, the fact that it's hands-free makes it so much easier to steal, don't you think? Sure, the Hop will send an alarm to the owner's phone if the connection between them is broken or if the signal is lost. But at that point, who knows how far the luggage thief could be by then?
The suitcase contains three receivers that are able to receive, identify and triangulate different signals coming from the user's cell phone. A microcontroller interprets these signals calculating the phone's position regarding to the suitcase. The same microcontroller operates a caterpillar system based on compressed air, which follows the user at a constant distance.
Anyhow, it's still a pretty fun concept. Check out the video to see the Hop luggage in action.