Monday, January 7, 2013

My suitcase landed where?! Your phone knows

Globaltrac demoed a device at CES Unveiled that tracks your luggage in real time.

Trackdot tracks your luggage.
(Credit: Paul Sloan/CNET)
LAS VEGAS--A company called Globaltrac is hoping to make a big business out of the painful reality that airlines are so good at losing luggage.
Globaltrac, based in Los Angeles, is at CES 2013 to show off Trackdot, a small, battery-powered device that sits in your suitcase and tracks your luggage -- whichever airport it might end up at. The device works using GSM -- the Federal Aviation Authority won't allow such devices to use GPS -- and sends messages directly to as many cell phones as you assign to it. So if you're flying to Paris, and your luggage flies to London, you'll get a message on your phone saying that's where your bag is. Still a pain, of course, but at least you'll know.
As for demand? That seems easy. Mayer Alexander, Globaltrac's VP of sales for North America, rattled off some stats from the FAA: of the 140 million people who flew more than once last year, he said, 26 million lost their luggage -- or, more correctly, an airline lost their luggage. Which explains why Alexander says the company has been flooded of preorders. He said the Trackdot, which costs $49.99, will be available in March.

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