Your next suitcase might follow close at your heels as you make your way through the airport. Tell Roomba to clear out space in the closet.
Built by a member of CargoCollective's creative online community, Hop (think: bellhop) uses three built-in sensors that communicate via Bluetooth with your cellphone. Hop! follows your phone at a set distance with the aid of two simple caterpillar tracks built into the bottom.
Should Hop get separated from you (or the signal become too weak to receive), the suitcase will lock itself and alert your phone. It’s not clear how you would find the suitcase after it has alerted you to being lost - this is a prototype and the webpage is sparse - but some sort of GPS tracking device is probably in order.
Hop doesn’t shake, beep and unpack itself yet, but its creator has big dreams, calling it the “next generation of luggage.”
“If a suitcase can move by itself, besides facilitating the lives of a large number of travellers, families, disabled people, [it] could also spare all the elements that moves externally the baggage (conveyor belts, carts),” writes the unnamed creator on the official Hop website.
Multiple Hops can also be programmed to follow one another - a nifty feature for family-friendly travel.