Raden, a suitcase/travel bag brand, announced the launch of a line of Bluetooth-enabled luggage this week. The company also announced a $3.5 million seed funding round led by First Round Capital and Lerer Hippeau Ventures.
The luggage itself costs between $300 and $400 depending on the size; it is connected to an iOS app. The travel cases can weigh themselves with a scale in the handle and can located through a GPS mesh network using Bluetooth.
The app can also provide information about TSA wait times, the weather, flight details, traffic alerts, as well as send a push notification when the bags have made it through baggage claim.
“The $40 billion luggage industry is built on providing a basic travel product, with little innovation in design and technology,” states Josh Udashkin, Raden founder and CEO.
DHL estimates that by 2020, there could be as many as 200 billion devices connected to the Internet, while IDC estimates that spending will increase from $656 billion in 2014 to $1.7 trillion in 2020.
IoT devices present unique marketing opportunities for brands, providing the potential for brands to create relationships between consumers and devices, often with their smartphone as a touchpoint for that relationship.
But that opportunity comes with an added burden.
As users turn more to their phones, companies that hope to break into the IoT market will have to turn their attentions to building an excellent mobile user experience.