Luggage security is an ongoing concern for travelers. But traditional luggage locks are problematic for several reasons, whether they require keys or combinations. The keys are easy to lose, while combinations are easy to forget.
AirBolt is a smartphone-controlled travel lock that doesn’t require a key or users to remember combinations. The device is relatively small and features a die-cast zinc body, along with a rugged stainless steel rope that allows users to attach AirBolt to places that include a bag’s zipper. It operates on Bluetooth 4.2 and features a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery that lasts for one year, according to AirBolt’s Kickstarter campaign.
Initially, most iOS and Android devices that have Bluetooth 4.0 or higher are compatible with AirBolt and its makers also may add Windows Mobile support. Users can set distance controls that alert them either via the accompanying app or by using the built-in buzzer on the AirBolt if they get separated from their luggage. If somebody tries to steal a bag, AirBolt users can also set off an alarm manually to track the luggage down.
The device ships in August at 79.95 Australian dollars (~$57), but early bird backers have been able to get one at reduced pricing starting at $40. AirBolt’s makers set a goal of raising $36,168 by Dec. 12.
There’s a huge potential market for AirBolt. But there are similar devices that already do pretty much the same thing, including eGee Touch, a competing device that also boasts NFC.