During a trip to spend Christmas in his native city, the Argentinian entrepreneur Diego Sáez´s luggage was lost – something that happened to him so frequently that it inspired him to create Bluesmart, the first smart suitcase aimed at improving the contemporary traveller´s experience. This idea has led to Sáez´s inclusion in MIT Technology Review, Spanish Edition´s Innovators Under 35 Argentina and Uruguay 2016 awards.
"The internet of things offers innovation opportunities in every sector," Sáez points out. "If we can make the world smarter, with smart houses, cars, wearables, etcetera, why not suitcases?" This young Argentinian used his personal experience and his entrepreneurial vocation to design a suitcase that, thanks to the power of computers, turns into a kind of personal assistant for travelling.
Bluesmart uses GPS geolocalization and 3G connectivity, thanks to an agreement with Telefónica. A smartphone app allows the user to locate their suitcase at any time, something that comes in handy not only when the suitcase is lost but also to create a travel log, like an automatic diary that can be shared via social media.
Through this app, the user can also plan their trip in advance, and information that Bluesmart will use to send notifications and advice about when and what to pack according to the duration of the trip and the meteorological conditions at the user´s destination. "A smart suitcase will be able in future to communicate with beacons located within airports and hotels in order to expedite check-ins and boarding," says Sáez.
The suitcase also includes a weight sensor, which advises users when they have exceeded the weight limits imposed by the airline for carry-on items. It also includes a lock which connects to the user´s smartphone via Bluetooth and a USB port which connects to the case´s battery pack and can be used to charge electronic devices.
"To date, we have sold over 25.000 Bluesmarts, which validates that this innovation makes sense for the market overall," the Argentinian entrepreneur highlights. For now there is only one model, a trolley case, but Sáez is working on expanding the product line to include more formats, and is negotiating agreements to license the technology to established suitcase manufacturers in order to generate greater impact.
In the words of the executive from Virtualming and a jury member for the Innovators Under 35 Argentina and Uruguay 2016 awards, Gabriel Weinstein, Sáez "is one of the icons that demonstrate that Latin America can innovate." He highlights that Bluesmart "has innovated an existing product that has not changed since wheels were added to the traditional suitcase design" and that "the characteristics that have been added show great creativity and business vision."
Discover all of the winning projects from Innovators Under 35 Argentina and Uruguay 2016.