New lightweight electrically-powered suitcase from Live Luggage
By Mike Hanlon
January 22, 2009
January 23, 2009 Live Luggage launched the world’s first power assisted suitcase last year, but batteries and hard cases make for heavy luggage and heavy luggage makes for not enough carrying capacity. Many non-powered suitcases weigh in at more than 10 kilograms, which takes a large lump out of any 20 or 30 kg airline luggage allowance. There’s no weight been announced yet on the new lightweight Hybrid PA bag, but it includes a laptop case and overnight travel bag which can both be separately removed to suit the differing check-in requirements of the world’s airlines.
You can either check-in the whole case as one item, or remove either or both the laptop and weekend bags – which can themselves be carried individually or zipped together as one item and taken on board the aircraft as hand luggage.
The Hybrid PA Bag features Live Luggage’s extendable “anti-gravity” handle that pivots away from the case and is height-adjustable for user-comfort, so no matter how tall or short the person, 85% of the weight of the luggage is balanced over the suitcase wheels.
On smooth level surfaces, such as an airport concourse, this means that minimal effort is required to pull the case and it won’t scuff your shoes or bang into your legs. For more challenging conditions, such as inclines or rough ground, power is applied through strong and reliable “pancake motors” built into each wheel. Thanks to sensors in the anti-gravity handle and an intelligent torque control system, the motors deliver exactly the right amount of power to compensate the wheels in any situation. This means that the Hybrid PA Bag will still feel equally light when going up inclines or over bumpy ground, and can even keep up with you if you need to hurry.
The wheels are powered by a rechargeable 12V NiMH (nickel metal hydride) battery the same size as a standard laptop charger. Because the suitcase determines exactly how much power is needed in any situation, it is highly efficient, resulting in a range of up to 1.5 miles, and batteries are quickly recharged. Plus, if you are caught without power, you can simply disable the motors and – thanks to the anti-gravity handle – the case will still be much easier to move than traditional designs.
The new Hybrid PA Bag is robustly constructed on a lightweight, super-strong frame with a tough, PC ABS body. The front of the case is made of ultra-light, durable, padded nylon which has undergone rigorous testing. Removable laptop and overnight bags are made of the same matching material. Included free with every case is Live Locator, Live Luggage’s unique, free luggage tracking service. Every PA and Hybrid PA series suitcase is tagged with a unique, laser-etched serial number. In the event of a case going astray, a text message and e-mail will be sent to the owner with details of its location. There is even a built-in umbrella in the anti-gravity handle, which is secure when the case is in locked mode.
The Live Luggage Hybrid PA Bag will cost GBP695 (US$955) and will be launching in April.