Samsonite EVOA Tech is Mensa-grade smart luggage

A new wave of 'smart bags' provides security and convenience for the harried traveller.

By David Flynn, August 2 2019

Smart luggage is smart enough to not try reinventing the wheel, or in this case, the four-wheeled suitcase.

After all, the basic design is a paragon of functionality: open the case, throw your stuff inside, close the case, take it with you. Job done.

Samsonite’s EVOA Tech line is finished in minimalistic brushed black

Samsonite’s EVOA Tech line is finished in minimalistic brushed black

Smart luggage leverages its digital brainpower in making a better bag, and Samsonite’s EVOA Tech – which launches in September from $679 – may as well fill out a Mensa application form.

For starters, the Samsonite EVOA Tech doubles down on security. Complementing the three-digit combination lock (with the now-standard TSA key override) is a fingerprint scanner.

A fingerprint scanner complements the traditional three-digit lock

This records up to ten individual fingerprints, which not only offers flexibility in letting you unlock the bag with almost any finger but also makes it easy to share the bag with your partner.

A slide covers the scanning pad when not in use, to avoid the sensor collecting a layer of grime (which would reduce its sensitivity) or being damaged. The fingerprint sensor is powered by a pair of AA batteries, and naturally if those run dry you can revert to the three-digit lock instead of the one-digit unlock.

These sliding covers conceal and protect the lock, fingerprint sensor and USB port

Just to the left of the latches, on the same panel as the lock, sits an embedded USB port.

The presence of non-removable lithium-ion batteries in the first generation of smart bags turned out to be their Achilles’ Heel. With concerns for safety, airlines began banning smart luggage with inbuilt battery packs as checked luggage, although they’re still accepted as carry-on cabin bags.

Samsonite’s solution: run USB cabling to an internal pocket and let buyers supply their own portable power bank for recharging their tech on the go.

Plenty of room inside the Samsonite EVOA Tech bags, including a pocket for your powerbank of choice

If you need to check the  EVOA Tech cabin bag – perhaps on smaller regional aircraft where there’s limited room in the overhead compartments – the battery pack is easily removed and added to your cabin bag.

This approach also lets you tailor powerbank capacity to your needs. Have to charge several devices on the go? Tuck a high-capacity 10Ah or 20Ah power bank inside the EVOA Tech and you’ll be good for days.

High-quality finishes are a hallmark of the EVOA Tech family

The EVOA Tech series also includes an integrated digital scale to quickly and easily measure the total weigh top your luggage and avoid falling foul of overweight baggage fees.

The EVOA Tech's side handle includes a built-in scale to keep under those pesky weight limits

Switch on the scale on, lift your EVOA Tech bag by the side hand and hold it for two seconds, and the weight shows on the two-digit LCD panel.

Tap the KG key to flip the orientation of the two-digital display so it faces you, instead of you having to swivel around the bag

(Tip: if you can’t hold the bag for two seconds, either it’s way too heavy or you need to think about joining a gym.)

Rounding out the EVOA Tech’s trio of tricks is Bluetooth tracking with an approximate 50 metre radius. Proximity guidance can alert you when the bag is a set distance away, with a companion smartphone app to remotely activate a buzzer on the bag.

Samsonite's EVOA Tech bags come with Seekit Bluetooth tracking tiles

The EVOA Tech line sports a no-nonsense minimalistic style, finished in brushed black texture with corner protection to resist marks and scratches, with suspension for each of the four wheels to reduce rolling vibration and noise.

Samsonite’s Evoa TECH range lands in September with a 55cm cabin bag ($679) plus 69cm ($799) and 75cm ($899) checked bags.

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.