Losing your luggage during a trip is one of the biggest worries for travelers, but a new gadget shown at this year's CES could assuage some of those fears. The Trakdot Luggage tracker from GlobaTrac LLC acts like a homing beacon to monitor and locate your bags anywhere in the world in real time, with almost any mobile device.
Trakdot is a relatively simple device that connects with any mobile Apple, Android, or SMS-capable device to alert the user to its current location. It's designed for travelers to keep track of their bags as they shuffle through different airports, and ensure that their luggage is passing through each city along with them. The Trakdot gadget itself is just slightly larger than a deck of cards and powered by two AA batteries, so it can easily fit inside a bag and remain charged for a long period of time.
Once users have registered their device on the Trakdot website, all they have to do is toss it in their bag, and it will deliver location updates via SMS texts or email. One device can be linked to multiple phones and, conversely, one phone can be linked to multiple devices, if needed. Users can also monitor its location in real time from either the Trakdot website or with a free app. With an additional app, the Trakdot will even alert users when their luggage is moving closer to the airport baggage claim.
At the CES Unveiled event, a rep with Globatrac told us the device uses a company-owned GSM frequency to detect its location and has already been approved by the FAA. The rep also noted the Trakdot could also be an effective security measure in case someone grabs your bag from the baggage claim by mistake.
Anyone who has gone through the painful process of recovering their bag after an airline loses it knows how handy Trakdot could be. If an airline loses a bag, for example, the owner usually has to rely on the airline staff to locate it and send it to the correct destination. If they have Trakdot in their bag, however, they can know exactly which city it's in and pass that information along to the airline to speed the recovery process.
Considering the number of features and uses it has, Trakdot is priced surprisingly low. After purchasing the device itself for US$49.95, there's just a one-time activation fee of $8.99 and a service fee of $12.99 per year. As someone who's lost their fair share of luggage while traveling, that seems like a small cost for some real peace of mind.
Trakdot comes bundled with a luggage tag and two batteries and will be available for purchase in March 2013.