Latest in Gear

Image credit: Bluesmart

Bluesmart shuts down following smart luggage battery ban

The crowdfunding hit is also ending refunds and warranty support.
350 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

Bluesmart

Smart luggage maker Bluesmart is shutting down after concerns over batteries in checked luggage kept travelers from using its bags as intended. The company has sold its intellectual property and is ending refunds, sales and warranty support.

Bluesmart's bags were a hit, with the company raising over $4.1 million in crowdfunding since its first campaign in 2014. The latest Series 2 carry-on bags and suitcases, which had apparently sold out, included free 3G and GPS connectivity that let owners track their bags anywhere with cell reception. The bags also included a charger for your devices, weight sensors and an auto-locking mechanism in case you strayed too far away.

The nail in the coffin for Bluesmart was a policy most major US airlines enacted in January, which forces travelers to remove lithium-ion batteries from checked smart luggage and power down those in cabin bags to reduce the risk of fire. Similar concerns had previously led the FAA to consider an outright ban on laptops in hold luggage.

While Bluesmart provided instructions on how to extract its "non-removable" batteries, which are integrated into the bags' electronics, the airlines' policy effectively rendered the smart functions useless while traveling. That placed the firm "in an irreversibly difficult financial and business situation," it said in a statement.

The company has sold its technology, designs, branding and IP to Travelpro, a luggage maker geared towards flight crews and frequent fliers. Bluesmart has ceased warranty support, though is still providing troubleshooting advice and how-to information. Consumers seeking refunds and other claims can do so through a third-party liquidator. Those who bought their bags elsewhere can seek a refund or exchange from their retailer.

For those hanging on to their Bluesmart bags, the servers and apps will remain functional for the next several months, though service quality or functionality "will be reduced in the future," the company said. However, you'll still need to unscrew the electronics board and stow it in your carry-on bags. It seems unlikely most Bluesmart owners will want to do that every time they fly.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
350 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Flat Earth advocate dies after homemade rocket crashes

Flat Earth advocate dies after homemade rocket crashes

View
The best GPS trackers for cats and dogs

The best GPS trackers for cats and dogs

View
After Math: The rule of threes

After Math: The rule of threes

View
This finance app can help you save up to $800 a year

This finance app can help you save up to $800 a year

View
KidKraft's Alexa-powered toy kitchen sizzles and tells dad jokes

KidKraft's Alexa-powered toy kitchen sizzles and tells dad jokes

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr