Products That Get Announced And Disappear: The Bluetooth Suitcase

from the whatever-happened-to... dept

I’ve been reading a lot lately about the process of bringing new products to market, and what’s almost as interesting is the products that never actually make it — though there’s a lot less information about those. Jeremy Wagstaff, however, is trying to find out whatever happened to Samsonite’s missing bluetooth-enabled suitcase. Apparently, the product was announced back in 2002 with promises to be on the market later that year. Wagstaff found the idea compelling, while others (and I fall into this camp) found the idea baffling. What value is there in adding Bluetooth to a suitcase that can’t be accomplished better and cheaper through other means? And, apparently, that’s what Samsonite itself discovered soon after announcing (but not launching) the product. In various tests, it found that Bluetooth didn’t work very well, not enough people had Bluetooth phones and there simply wasn’t much value in Bluetooth-enabled luggage, so it went into the dustbin of products announced, but never launched.

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Companies: samsonite

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Comments on “Products That Get Announced And Disappear: The Bluetooth Suitcase”

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Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Call me thick but what possible use would there be for bluetooth in a suitcase?

I know. I can’t conceive of a single use that makes any sense. Yet, it does not appear to have been a joke.

The ones mentioned by Samsonite originally are ridiculous:

– storing info with the luggage?

Huh? That’s storage, not Bluetooth.

– alerting a traveler if luggage was moved.

Huh? With Bluetooth? Given Bluetooth’s range (realistically just a few feet), you’re going to see your luggage being moved before it alerts your phone.

This was an ill-conceived idea from the beginning.

TheDock22 says:

Re: Re: Re:

I agree. The range on Bluetooth is really the disadvantage to using it as a tracking system. Using an RFID chip would have much better range.

Or better yet, everyone on the planet could have a tracking chip. Then you could “mark” your stuff like the animals, but be able to track is via satellite uplink. A little futuristic, but cheap and functional. =)

Anonymous Coward says:

Not well, but I've had bluetooth work to 100'+ ind

I use a Plantronics Voyager 510 headset on my office phone and cell phone. I have been alerted of incomming calls from my desk when I was on the other side of our office. I was able to answer. I was able to communicate (I wouldn’t say converse) with the other party enough to find out they were in the office next door to the one I was visiting and drop in.

This product is advertised with a 30′ range. It only works well within that range, but for alerts it goes far beyond.

Keep in mind most bluetooth devices are class 2. Class 1 is designed for a 300′ range, but the battery drain is too high for most uses.

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