Personal Transportation

Pack your bags and get moving with the Coolpeds Solar Electric Scooter

Everyone knows how brutal those mile long treks can be to and from work. A comparable experience is trudging through the vast innards of most airports to the gate which is inevitably on the other side of the entrance. No one likes it, but still it must be done. No one says it can’t be made easier, though.

The Coolpeds Solar Electric Scooter is looking to make it easier to think about the long distances required when simply getting to work or traveling. The scooter combines an eco-friendly transportation option with the storage potential of a small piece of carry-on luggage. A compact brushless motor hub does the work in getting users places, while a USB port charges a wide-variety of common devices people use everyday, all while weighing in at a sprite 7kg. It just takes about three hours to fully charge, so users might be waiting around for a bit.

The Impossible Bike does a better job at the scooter part of the equation without any storage to speak of. In any case, the Coolpeds scooter is going for $399, $200 off its eventual retail price. The $59,000 Indiegogo campaign is looking to have the product shipped by April 2015.

Connected Objects Luggage and Bags

Trackase luggage offers GPS location services so you’ll never lose a bag again

One of the worst hassles of traveling is luggage. Some bags are expensive, but can barely hold up to a plane ride. Others are too heavy to tote around. And sometimes, even the perfect bag doesn’t prevent loss at an airport.

According to Trackase’s campaign, 21.8 million bags are mishandled each year. That’s why they’ve created a bag that will not only stand up to averse conditions, but one that also contains a tracker so the bag is never truly lost. Trackase is made from a type of plastic called polypropylene which is extremely durable. It can withstand temperatures up to 130°C and protects its contents from harmful chemicals. With a colorfast design, the bag won’t fade and can survive strong impact without falling apart.

The bag’s tracker uses cell phone towers to triangulate its position. There’s no need to fear about messing with the plane’s systems while in flight because the tracker only transmits a signal once the user’s cell phone is turned on. Using an accompanying app, it’s possible to see exactly where the bag is. This feature is especially helpful since some airports can take forever to locate a lost bag.

Luggage that can withstand the stress of travel is always welcome on the market. Not only does Trackase offer great design, versatile sizes and tracking capabilities, but it also offers peace of mind. One worry, however, is that the campaign doesn’t mention TSA regulations anywhere and claims that each bag has an internal locking system. Chances are, most airports won’t look kindly on a non-TSA approved lock. Still, backers can have their own super bag in the smallest carryon size for £160 (~$243). Trackase is hoping to raise £30,000 (~$45,500) on Kickstarter by early February.

Connected Objects Travel

Keep those eyes in the sky focused on your luggage with the Smart Unit tracker

The point at check-in where control over luggage is relinquished to the airport can leave anyone with an queasy feeling that’s hard to shake no matter how much alcohol is consumed on the flight. Most of the time, nothing happens. Those times when something does, however, can ruin an entire trip.

The Smart Unit is a GSM-connected luggage tracking device that takes the ride with a piece of luggage through the bowels of airport travel, keeping users informed about their location the entire time. It shuts off while in flight, avoiding any possible interference with FAA regulations, and powers back upon landing just in time to alert users to the bag’s arrival onto the baggage claim belt. Alerts can also inform users of luggage tampering as well as a separation of more than 100 feet. Early birds can grab the unit now for $59 before it goes up to $99. The $50,000 campaign is looking to ship the Smart Unit in May 2015.

Since its battery only lasts one week, the Smart Unit may be a bit of a pain to be charge. A more comprehensive version of this idea is the Bluesmart, which incorporates a tracking solution and so much more into the luggage itself.

Luggage and Bags

BackTPack splits the backpack to create personal saddle bags

Backpacks can be a great way for commuters to tote things, but when they aren’t worn correctly, they can cause back pain. BackTPack is a redesigned backpack that balances the weight of items so that it’s evenly distributed on both sides of the body. This helps to protect the back from the issues associated with poor posture and traditional backpacks.

While it’s not the most fashionable looking item to wear, it seems like it may offer more convenience because of the side access, and perhaps better protection from items getting stolen than what a traditional backpack would offer. Since the weight is redistributed, the load also feels lighter than with a traditional backpack. Other backpack campaigns that backers may want to check out are Riutbag and Zondo. This campaign seeks to raise $20,000 by December 11, 2014. For $75, early bird backers get one product with an expected delivery of April 2014.

Luggage and Bags

Versatile FUGU luggage expands from suitcase to large boxy roller

People love buying souvenirs when they travel. Bringing home gifts for friends and even items for yourself are great ways to remember your trip. Sometimes, though, it’s hard to remember that you can’t come back with more than you went with unless you have a bigger bag.

That’s where FUGU comes in. This suitcase looks like an average-sized rolling carry on bag. However, it zips out and more than doubles in size. In one step, this bag transforms from the maximum carry on bag size to the maximum checked bag size. This way, you can take home a lot more than you started out with if you’d like. FUGU also boasts utility as a table. When stood up, the top zips off to reveal a hard surface that you can use for a variety of things. It also comes with a removable laptop case for all those business trips you may have to take. In addition, FUGU saves space in your home. Most large suitcases are bulky and take up a lot of room, but not FUGU. Depending on what backers vote, FUGU will come in four different colors, still to be determined.

This beefed up bag is a great concept, to be sure. The space-saving aspect of the suitcase makes it great for anyone with limited storage. Otherwise, FUGU really only makes sense in a situation where one would bring back a lot of stuff from a trip. Backers can get their very own for a donation of $295 by August 2015, provided the Kickstarter campaign hits its goal of $50,000.

Connected Objects Luggage and Bags Travel

Bluesmart connected luggage offers remote locking, weighing

The concept of luggage for all the travel we do hasn’t really enjoyed a major upgrade for the 21st century. With the idea that everything we own shouldn’t just fulfill one need but instead address every concern by utilizing technology, a piece of luggage that serves as just a bag is, frankly, very dated. The Bluesmart connected carry-on is a refreshing new take on what luggage can be and is a step in the right direction on the process of streamlining travel itself.

Bluesmart Technologies has created their product with a Bluetooth antenna that connects it to an iOS or Android smartphone, with smartwatch integration coming soon. With Bluesmart, gone are the days you pay extra fees for overweight luggage with its built-in digital scale. Locks and keys are no longer necessary to protect our valuables, either — it does so itself with an option to either automatically lock when you aren’t near using a proximity sensor, or remotely lock and unlock the carry-on with a companion app. The dread that comes along with losing luggage is also addressed with GPS, allowing you track to track the bag wherever it is in the world.

Easy access to electronics comes in the form of a compartment at the front of the carry-on where you can also charge up to two devices at once, ensuring you’ll breeze through security. All this is housed in a three layer polycarbonate construction that sports waterproof zippers to protect all this coolness. At the moment, the only option for a Bluesmart is a personalized version with custom engraving for $295, about $200 off the final retail price with delivery in August 2015. The campaign has absolutely demolished its funding goal of $50,000.

The Bluesmart is a solid, well-thought piece of technology. It eliminates some of the many hassles of traveling and finally gives some power back to the traveler. It doesn’t hurt that it’s also pretty stylish, although looks can’t hide the obvious privacy concerns something like this presents. Convenience and a sheer cool factor will probably win at the end of the day, though.

Organization Travel

AirSafe Carryon neatly organizes your goop to get past the snoop

For those who are still willing to tolerate airport patting, petting, scanning and being otherwise treated as though they are one step above being a convicted felon, here is a product that aims to keep travelers in compliance with that three ounces of liquid rule. AirSafe Carryon is basically a toiletry bag that lets travelers tote their favorite products without the worry of running into issues of leaking at high altitudes. It uses small hexagonal compartments made out of plastic for liquid storage. If one is only going to be gone for a couple of days or so, this is a great idea.

Otherwise, it seems that it makes more sense to carry larger portions of those products in checked luggage, or better yet, just buy necessary items upon your arrival. Still, one of the foremost worries of liquid travel is leakage, so AirSafe Carryon may be just the ticket for those unwilling to have their clothes smell like perfume forever. This campaign seeks to raise $10,000 by November 19, 2014. Backers get one product for $48, with an expected delivery of March 2015.

Luggage and Bags

Monowalker blends sled and rickshaw to make loads less of a drag

There’s nothing like wheels to make it easier to transport stuff from here to there. And if such a device can be adapted for pretty much any travel situation, so much the better. Monowalker is a multifaceted device that allows users to tote supplies on wheels for excursions ranging from hiking in the great outdoors to taking a walk down to the corner market. And for cycling enthusiasts, it’s even possible to get a hitch so that it can be easily pulled along. Monowalker must be modified to fit an urban verses rural environment, and it’s not clear if any tools are required for the assembly. But it does appear that the kits offered for making those changes are easy to use.

It’s a nice touch that, when on foot, the product takes the stress off of a user’s neck and shoulders since it attaches around the waist. This product seems a little bulky to carry around everywhere and may be suited to bigger adventures rather than everyday use.  The campaign seeks to raise £25,000 (~$40,000 US) by November 5, 2014. City dwelling backers get a basic Monowalker product for £610 (~$980). Expected delivery is currently set for January 2015.


Chair-Pak lets you take a load off and sit on it

chair-pakCamping, hiking and general wilderness-wandering is done by carrying around the least amount of stuff as possible. This usually means making some sacrifices. Chair-Pak is a combination backpack and chair that means you won’t have to sit on the ground. The chair folds out and the pack is then located on the back of the chair. With a stable looking seat and lightweight metal, this seems like a great way to tote around a chair and cargo at the same time. One will cost backers $95 with estimated delivery in March 2015. Chair-Pak hopes to raise $39,000 on Kickstarter.


Bartender’s bag brings the booze

B-bagWhether it’s a private poker game with friends, a business-style cocktail party, or an on-the-go bartender into tradeshows and competitions, B-bag (Bartender’s Bag) can help keep an event spirited. The bag holds up to eight bottles comfortably, or a combo of bottles, mixing glass and shaking tin, plus has plenty of pockets for other drink mixing essentials. It’s made of high-quality canvas with leather handles and is hand washable. Perhaps the most convenient aspect is the adjustable insert that allows for a great deal of toting flexibility. While an eight-bottle limitation will require knowing guest drink preferences, the apparent versatility of the bag seems like it would make for a worthwhile investment for pros. For $325 backers get one bag with an expected delivery of December 2014.