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Eagle Creek NFC-connected luggage provides owners with ability to share travel achievements

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By embedding NFC chips in its Caldera line of luggage, Eagle Creek can make its products more interactive through mobile devices and appeal to the many travelers who rely on their smartphones when they take trips.

 

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That’s especially true for millennial travelers who are seeking original experiences they can share with their friends on social media. Tech-savvy U.S. millennials spend an average of $223 a month on travel, or $2,676 a year, according to a survey by bank Ally Financial, making them a key target for the travel industry and luggage makers.

In order to take full advantage of the smart luggage, travelers place their phone within a few inches of the NFC chip at the start and end of the trip. They can then use the app to track their progress and compare themselves to other travelers on a leaderboard.

We want to find a way to make the travel experience more robust, and to allow that bag to deliver information that’s interesting and helpful,” said Monica Rigali, senior director of digital marketing for Eagle Creek and JanSport.

While Eagle Creek is pioneering its use of NFC chips for travel bags, tech companies like Apple are already building out their support for NFC-based interactivity in smartphones and wearables. Apple last week added three big U.S. makers of fitness equipment — Octane Fitness, True Fitness and Woodway — to its list of partners for the NFC-based GymKit for the Apple Watch.

The software lets Apple Watch wearers sync workout data with their fitness machines, NFC World reported. Since introducing GymKit two years ago, exercise equipment manufacturers have added the technology to more than 50,000 fitness machines worldwide, Wareable reported.

NFC technology also is gaining adoption in the growing market for contactless payments and ticketing for smartphone users.

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