In news that could be filed under “unsurprising”, Smart Luggage companies Raden and BlueSmart have decided to shutter their operations.
Smart Luggage companies have been under pressure since IATA changed the rules about Lithium Ion Batteries in luggage, and how they are to be handled in the case of smart luggage
Both have press resales out. The highlight line from Raden is:
The changes in policies concerning batteries in luggage in December by all major airlines severely impacted the usefulness of our products, their value to our customers, our business performance and ultimately the ability to continue operating.
Meanwhile, BlueSmart states:
The changes in policies announced by several major airlines at the end of last year—the banning of smart luggage with non-removable batteries—put our company in an irreversibly difficult financial and business situation. After exploring all the possible options for pivoting and moving forward, the company was finally forced to wind down its operations and explore disposition options, unable to continue operating as an independent entity.
BlueSmarts products had non-removable batteries, whilst Raden’s did have such a facility.
TravelPro has brought the intellectual assets of BlueSmart – however, Raden is surprisingly quiet about its technology assets.
In terms of support, don’t expect any warranty coverage, returns or new orders. Stock that is out there is now sold “as-is”.
To be honest – I’m not surprised these companies went the way of the Dodo. Smart Luggage by its nature needs power. The moment airlines agreed to stop having batteries in luggage, the smart luggage time was limited (and these things require serious juice to work, be it weighing, charging, tracking, etc).
Add to the regulations – which to some – are confusing… and it was only a matter of time before companies started hitting the wall (especially those where the battery couldn’t be removed).
And I’m going to be nasty – expect more casualties on the way.
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