August 31, 2005 European think-tank BDi has released the Luggage Passport, the first “HandsOn” luggage product. The Luggage Passport is being featured today at the Standards Australia Luggage Forum, where the first prototypes will be made available to industry professionals. First featured here on Gizmag the Luggage Passport provides the missing link in ensuring personal security and safety when travelling. It helps in all situations of Theft, Tampering and most importantly Smuggling.
Inspired by the Schapelle Corby incident, BDi boffins have been working on a range of solutions for traveller, but they teamed up first to launch the Luggage Passport, a document designed to maintain a “chain of evidence” for the traveller. “The one piece of evidence that Schapelle Corby needed on being arrested was the weight of her bag at check-in” said a BDi spokesperson. “Unfortunately this information has only recently been sought, we just hope that it is not too late.”
Since the Gizmag article, BDi has received numerous enquiries from interested parties and has been busy refining the content and consulting on the legal complexities of chain of evidence requirements before offering licences to manufacturers and distributors.
A Portuguese partnership has snapped up the first retail licence to produce the off-the-shelf version of this revolutionary document and is able to offer sub-licences around the world. Producers from many countries can acquire a sub-licence for this product and secure an entire country, region or language version of the passport, but as Barry at BDi succinctly put it “they need to act quickly. Once an exclusive sub-licence has been issued per country or language, that's it!” BDi are happy to look at other suggestions for licensing the Luggage Passport and all other “HandsOn” products. The Luggage Passport system is completely flexible, and operates as a stand alone document – but will adapt to accept other existing and future systems including RFID and smart chips. The aim is to make it a platform for development without losing its capabilities as a “Burden of Proof” legal document.
It is hoped that the Luggage Passport will become an everyday document, available in the local high street, given away with new luggage, and sent to passengers with their travel documents. By widespread adoption of the system, much of the guesswork will be taken out of insurance claims and reporting of theft – with a long term aim to eliminate the need for both. While we live with a system that makes passengers responsible for luggage items even when they have no control over them – and yet limits the responsibility of the airlines to which the bags are entrusted – we cannot hope to see improvements in the statistics for theft, loss or damage to luggage.
As part of this ongoing project, BDi is collaborating with security experts and risk reduction specialists to look at how best to provide solutions to many of the current weaknesses in luggage security. The first step in this process has been the release of two white papers on the Luggage Passport and Luggage Security in time for the Luggage Forum. These are available on request from BDi@sapo.pt. Further papers will be released as security problems are addressed, and eventually new products will reach the marketplace. These will all be shown first on Gizmag – (Mike - add link to register for updates)
Primary licences for the Luggage Passport and further information on developments in BDi security products can be sourced from BDi. The principal licensee is preparing a website which will be on-line in the next week.
If you wish to sub-licence retail passports, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for an immediate response and information on licence availability.
The Standards Australia Luggage Forum is taking place as we go to press and involves luggage designers and manufacturers, airlines, governments and enforcement bodies as well as baggage handlers unions, airport security specialists, travellers, consumers and others.