Rimowa luggage with built-in electronic tag comes to Singapore

Rimowa's line of luggage with electronic tags works by having users transfer their unique luggage tag via bluetooth from their smartphones.
Rimowa's line of luggage with electronic tags works by having users transfer their unique luggage tag via bluetooth from their smartphones. ST PHOTO: TREVOR TAN
The E-Ink display on Rimowa's new line of luggage with built-in electronic tags can withstand up to 300kg of force.
The E-Ink display on Rimowa's new line of luggage with built-in electronic tags can withstand up to 300kg of force.ST PHOTO: TREVOR TAN

SINGAPORE - German luggage-maker Rimowa has introduced its lines of luggage with built-in electronic tags to Singapore.

Rimowa's Electronic Tag allows users to check in their luggage from home. A flight's unique luggage tag is transferred from the Rimowa mobile app via Bluetooth to a display on the side of the luggage, where the paper luggage tag is usually placed.

To do so, users need to open the piece of luggage and press a button inside, which starts the pairing process and transfers the electronic luggage tag. Once done, users can head straight to the baggage drop-off upon reaching the airport, saving time and paper.

This helps to prevent misplaced or delayed luggage delivery from paper tags getting tangled or crunched up, and sticky handles from the glue. Users can also track the location of their luggage using the app.

The electronic tag uses an E-Ink display, similar to the ones found in Amazon's Kindle e-reader, and is powered by two AAA batteries. The display will show the last tag shown on screen even with the battery removed.

The batteries can power the display for up to four years, but Rimowa recommends changing them every two years.

The E-Ink display can also be used to display a preset image with a user's name and contact details, or any of his or her own pictures.

One downer is that only one airline - German national carrier Lufthansa - currently supports it. But the reception has been encouraging.

Since its roll-out half a year ago with Lufthansa, more than 7,500 people have used the Rimowa mobile app, and over 5,500 pieces of luggage with electronic tags have been used. The pieces of luggage have been on over 1,000 flights.

Rimowa said that it is in talks with over 30 airlines, like United, to support the luggage with electronic tags.

On Tuesday (Oct 25), Rimowa announced that Taiwanese carrier Eva Air will be the next airline to support the tags.

Rimowa's pieces of luggage with electronic tags cost around $120 more than its regular luggage. Prices start at $1,430 for the Rimowa Limbo Multiwheel Electronic Tag, and $1,710 for Rimowa Topas Multiwheel Electronic Tag.