We’ve all been there: you check-in your bag at the airport, only to pick it up at your destination to find the contents more than a little shaken (and) or stirred. (Featured image by Cambridge Consultants)
There’s no way to tell if this is the result of the usual rough-and-tumble of air travel, or down to some mistreatment at the hands of some careless baggage handlers.
A UK-based technology firm hopes to change all that though, with a device it is developing to detect whether something has been dropped or mishandled.
Called DropTag, the small device is a little bigger than a 50-pence piece that can be attached to any luggage, package or item of sports or musical equipment.
It contains a highly sensitive motion sensor which detects when an item has been dropped and sends a message to the owner’s smartphone.
“The device is entirely configurable,” said Tom Lawrie-Fussey, business development manager at Cambridge Consultants – the firm behind DropTag.
“It’s very sensitive, and can even detect ambient noise, but has adjustable thresholds – the user can decide whether they want to track general movement, catastrophic drops, or something in between.”
Similar monitoring systems are available, but Cambridge Consultants say that these tend to be quite basic, mechanical sensors, or very expensive.
“DropTag is different – it’s a simple, low-cost sensor platform with connectivity via Bluetooth Low Energy to a smartphone,” said Mr Lawrie-Fussey.
Cambridge Consultants have developed a simple smartphone app to go with the device, which will let the user know immediately if their luggage has been mishandled.
The technology firm has secured a patent for DropTag, but has said that commercial development will only go ahead if sufficient investment is secured.
If funding is found, the firm claims that the device could go on sale in the UK for as little as £5 – a small price to pay for keeping track of your holiday essentials during flights.Alex Francis