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January 4, 2021

Suitcase Tech: Ovis Suitcase

Technology is rapidly making inroads in many areas of human lives.

We adapt just as quickly as technology evolves, and we also become more and more accustomed to the sheer convenience it provides. This is why the smart Ovis suitcase grabbed our attention. The latest unique creation aimed to enhance the human travel experience, the Ovis suitcase comes with AI-enabled robotic tech and acts as a travel companion with sophisticated mechanics, logistics and analytics built within the 20-inch carry-on. 

It’s not surprising that robotics company Forward X is the developer behind this mobile game-changer. They introduced the suitcase prototype at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January 2019. Additionally, this is neither ForwardX’s first foray into AI-enabled robotics, nor is it their first time navigating the interface between technology and widespread commercial use. Their technology currently powers the autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) of China’s second largest e-commerce company, JD.com, who are responsible for rolling out an initial fleet of 20 delivery robots in China. They were also behind JD.com’s self-driving factory flatbed trucks

Now, they are promising to develop the world’s most advanced autonomous suitcase, and the Casper & Casper team have more than enough reason to be excited about its release.

The Ovis suitcase, designed as a carry-on, uses self-driving technology and complex algorithms to follow beside its owner, and computer vision technology to manoeuvre around obstacles. This way, the traveller doesn’t have to keep their eye on their robotic suitcase. Instead, it’ll be the other way around, as the suitcase comes equipped with two cameras: one 170-degree wide-angle lens in front, and the other right behind the handle, tracking its surroundings and your legs, respectively. 

The suitcase comes with a GPS tracking model, allowing owners accessibility and control of its location via an app on their phones or the wristband, which the suitcase comes with. The wristband has an additional functionality that alerts them when the luggage is too far, acting much like a leash on a very smart travelling companion. The suitcase itself comes equipped with both a digital lock and a good, old-fashioned TSA-approved lock. It also has a manual mode, where the owner can place their hand on the handle to carry it on escalators and stairs. They can remove the battery for a hassle-free experience through security and, afterwards, they can put it back in to let them charge their devices through two USB ports. 

The design aesthetic is minimal and black, remaining sleek and inconspicuous. The designers have incorporated their attention to detail in the spacious compartments in the carry-on where travellers can easily separate and pack their items.

Ovis was set for a wide market release mid-2019 and at a steep-but-fair price of $799 (USD). Check out the Ovis website for more information and updates.

Archive Feature, originally published 18/02/19

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