Last year, airlines lost more than 40 million pieces of luggage. That figure is expected to climb to 70 million by 2017.
Aside from the expense involved, the inconvenience for those who travel is immense. Michael and Kristina Konas of Riga, Latvia, went through this ordeal two years ago and vowed to find a way to prevent lost luggage.
Their solution, currently in development, is KONAS luggage, which can be tracked with a Smartphone. Each piece of luggage contains a tracking chip that works with WiFi, GSM and GPS.
The tracking system is also being installed in KONAS backpacks so hikers can find each other when separated and people can keep track of loved ones when they go off on an adventure where there is no cell communication.
“It’s the world’s best luggage,” said Michael Konas, CEO of KONAS.
“We wanted to make it possible to track your belongings wherever you travel. Currently we are on the third and final generation prototype.”
KONAS luggage and backpacks house the tracking chip in a waterproof case for added protection. And in order to meet FAA regulations, the device automatically shuts off when an airplane is in flight and turns on when the plane lands. The specially designed case will let signal in and out but the device will not be harmed by magnetic forces or x-rays typically used by the airlines to scan the bags. The tracking service is free.
Michael and Kristina Konas have invested $150,000 of their own money into the project thus far. To take the next step, completing and marketing the product, they need an additional $300,000.
Donations of any amount are welcome. For a $65 pledge, backers receive an ultra-light backpack with tracking. A contribution of $150 is rewarded with a basic piece of trackable luggage.
Those making larger donations receive larger versions of the luggage. All luggage comes with a double lifetime warranty. Backpacks have a five year warranty.
“For those who back us in this initial development stage, the tracking service is free for life,” Konas said. “Even if we have to make it paid service in the future, our early investors will still have it free.”
In order to generate this capital, they have launched an Indiegogo campaign, which can be viewed at www.indiegogo.com/projects/konas-the-world-s-only-luggage-you-can-track-with-your-smartphone.
For additional information, visit www.indiegogo.com/projects/konas-the-world-s-only-luggage-you-can-track-with-your-smartphone; the KONAS Facebook page, www.facebook.com/pages/KONAS/655538114495912; or the KONAS website, www.konasbags.com.