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.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 9:10pm

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

    I'm assuming this is some sort of joke!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Jul 24th, 2007 @ 9:31pm

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    Overcast, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 10:12pm

    LOL, wtf?

    Maybe next they will have bluetooth condoms.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 10:32pm

    may be to ease in finding you bag at airports ?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    The Swiss Cheese Monster, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 11:14pm

    Re:

    RFID chip would be better suited for this task.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    The Swiss Cheese Monster, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 11:14pm

    Re:

    This is the kind of thing you might sell to somebody who shops at sharper image and buys ion breeze equipment.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    The Swiss Cheese Monster, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 11:26pm

    Re:

    Now there is a product I could really get into.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    christopher, Jul 25th, 2007 @ 5:12am

    Bluetooth effective range?

    Try 300 feet outdoors, and 100 indoors. I effectively keep linked to my desktop even behind a closed-door conf room 50 feet away. I call shenanigans on your anecdote.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    Haggisdog, Jul 25th, 2007 @ 6:03am

    Confusing Bluetooth with WiFi

    There's no way you're getting bluetooth at 300 feet, you're obviously thinking of your WiFi connection.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    The Swiss Cheese Monster, Jul 25th, 2007 @ 6:29am

    Re: Bluetooth effective range?

    The effective range of Bluetooth is only around 32' (http://www.mobileinfo.com/Bluetooth/FAQ.htm#t6)

    I can testify that I have never seen a bluetooth device work that well at 30'.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    TheDock22, Jul 25th, 2007 @ 6:45am

    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. =)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2007 @ 6:53am

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Unknowledgeable Geek, Jul 25th, 2007 @ 7:00am

    Re: Re: Re:

    There already exists chips that you can put in animals.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    TheDock22, Jul 25th, 2007 @ 7:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I meant physically mark your stuff (suitcases, phones, keys) like the animals do...with DNA ;)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Sanguine Dream, Jul 25th, 2007 @ 7:45am

    Throughout history and world...

    there are many devices that are just bad ideas. This was not the first and it damn sure won't be the last.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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