"What are you doing, Dave?" is what this little guy might ask if you try and run off to leave it behind in the airport.YouTube Screengrab
Recently, we told you about how airlines were banning smart luggage due to concerns over the fire safety of the batteries they used. Now, we are hearing about a new EXTREMELY smart piece of luggage that literally follows you around like a puppy dog, introduced at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show last week.
The CX-1 from Chinese company ForwardX uses facial recognition software and a GPS-controlled wristband to keep track of you pretty much anywhere and follow you around like a robot. While this isn't a weapon, it is not lost on us that CX-1 is also the name of a Chinese-made cruise missile given that this little robot suitcase hones in on you like a ballistic weapon. Hopefully, in this case, it won't explode.
It also happens to be short for a NASA-named black hole, Cygnus X-1, and an obscure Rush song of the same name, but we find it hard to believe that the folks at ForwardX are big fans of the Canadian power trio. If their next creation is called the "Geddy," we'll know for sure.
Anyway, we do sort of wonder how safe a device like this would be. Yes, the band will theoretically alert you if it is taken (and help track the perp for you), but having a bag trolling behind you a few feet away does seem like a really good way to get a carry on snatched.
Also, maybe it's just us, but the facial recognition only works if it can, you know, see your face. Last time we walked through an airport, we didn't do it backward. So, unless it also comes with ass recognition technology, there could be problems.
Of course, there's also the price. Reports are it will be around $1,500, which ain't cheap for something that is built to hold your dirty underwear even if it does wheel around said dirty underwear behind you rather effortlessly.
And maybe it's just us, but there is something a little creepy about a bag that feels like a pet chasing after you. How are we supposed to look that thing in its weird little glass eye as we toss it onto the check-in scale? Is it cruel to put it in the baggage compartment? What about the overhead bin? That can't be comfortable. Will it come to resent us? Will it start wandering off with other passengers or whimper at the sight of a conveyer belt? It's all so confusing.
But, if you want what amounts to a giant remote control car that can hold your unmentionables, this should do the trick.
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Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.