This week we take a stock check of the most innovative consumer travel products now on sale and currently in development. Read on for our top five smart travel trends!

1. Technology which promotes accessibility

IBM Japan are developing an AI-driven robotic suitcase which could help travellers with visual disabilities. This fascinating new technology comes complete with a sensor and camera to detect obstacles and will alert users of their surroundings through tactile sensations allowing the user to travel more safely.

2. Luggage with more inbuilt features

Further to IBM Japan, other companies like Berlin-born start-up Horizn are also leading the trend with smart luggage. Horizn luggage comes with an integrated removable battery to charge phones with a USB charger as well as a GPS tracker which automatically switches into flight mode once the luggage is in the air. The “no bag left behind feature” this produce also incorporates Bluetooth to send users a notification if their luggage is more than 30m away.

3. Smart Travel Assistants

Horizn also claims the title of the world’s first luggage with a personal travel assistant. Their luggage comes with a one year free membership to their smart travel app, Horizn Go. This helpful app includes accommodation, flights, transfers and other experiences. Chatbots or “Smart Travel Assistants” have been around in the travel and booking arena for a while but some companies are now taking this technology to a whole new level.

4. Wearables taking over

A month ago UK Fintech Curve partnered with a range of wearable smart devices to allow users to upload a card to their smart watches and pay with any bank, even if it was previously incompatible with the device. Now travel cruise line Virgin Voyages has created a trendy looking digital wristband which serves a variety of functions . Once activated, this tech allows passengers a host of handy features; they can unlock their room, create a bar tab, make onboard purchases, play at the casino and much more. Made from recycled ocean plastic, this convenient device will be shipped to passengers before their voyage.


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*Discover the latest trends and innovation in the travel and aviation industry with our bespoke discovery programmes in Dubai – “the City of Gold”. Our programme offers exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the fascinating Emirates tech hub and Dubai International Airport.

Intrigued by innovative new retailers like Horizn? Check out our East End Retail Design Walking Tour.