The market for smartwatches and other wearable gadgets won’t just be for people: Your luggage may be getting some smarts soon too. In August, British Airways plans to trial its Bag Tag with wireless and electronic ink technology through a partnership with Designworks. The reusable tag could save time during baggage check-in and if successful, will eliminate the need for paper tags, helping to reduce waste.
Engadget noticed the new Bag Tag news and it comes at a time when our smartphones are becoming increasingly useful when traveling. Aside from helping to keep track of travel itineraries, our phones can also be our boarding passes with barcode scanning in place of paper passes.
The Bag Tag is designed to wirelessly work with phone, according to Designworks:
“Once checked in, customers just need to hold their smartphone over the electronic tag, which automatically updates with a unique barcode containing their flight details and an easy-to-see view of their bag’s destination.”
I suspect the wireless technology that ties the phone to a Bag Tag is NFC, although Designworks doesn’t specify the type of radio. If it is NFC, these types of devices could help push the inclusion of NFC radios in phones going forward. For now, few devices use NFC, which has largely been associated with mobile payments.
Now, how about a GPS radio in the next Bag Tag version so we can easily find our lost luggage?