People who are worried about whether their designer luggage will make it onto the baggage carousel at their destination need be concerned no longer: upscale maker Louis Vuitton has just released a tracking device, which is yours for a few hundred dollars.
The Louis Vuitton Echo is on sale now for $370, comes in two colors and promises peace of mind. It tracks luggage through an airport, on landing, and notifies travelers of its location and whether it was opened during the trip. It works with the LV Pass smartphone app, and automatically switches itself to airplane mode while flying.
It’s been designed to go with LV’s Horizon 50, 55 and 70 ranges of suitcases, which start at $2,800 for a cabin bag and up to $4,650 for a customized larger case. The internet-connected device can be clipped into a pocket inside the bags, or used with regular luggage.
French company Sigfox is behind the technology that powers the Echo device, and it can be used in airports in the U.S., Europe, South America and parts of Southeast Asia. China, where shoppers make up 32 percent of the world’s luxury buyers, is not yet on the list.
Smart luggage is a small but growing part of the $6 billion global luggage market, where suitcases feature USB ports that travellers can use to charge their cell phones. But some airlines in the U.S. are restricting their use, if the lithium-ion batteries can’t be removed.
Sigfox developed its Monarch service to allow companies to track devices all over the world, for example logistics businesses that want to track their fleets globally. The technology works using local radio frequencies.
CNBC’s Leslie Josephs contributed to this report.