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Meet AirBolt, the tiny smart lock that’ll fix your lost luggage problem

AirBolt Smart Luggage Lock iPhone Android

Ever had to deal with an airline losing your luggage? That’s one problem the AirBolt smart lock will try to fix once it becomes a commercial product. The tiny device is currently available for preorder on Kickstarter, and will ship at some point in August 2016 assuming the AUD $50,000 goal is reached. The project is approaching $10,000 in pledges, with 45 days left in the campaign.

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In addition to offering assistance with the retrieval of your lost airplane luggage, the TSA-friendly AirBolt has plenty of other interesting features. You can unlock it with a smartphone app and it comes with proximity alerts that will prevent you from forgetting it in a coffee shop or losing it to a thief.

The device comes with a rechargeable Li-ion battery that lasts a year and has a backup button unlocking feature that lets you unlock it when your iPhone or Android smartphone runs out of battery juice.

The device connects to the smartphone via Bluetooth 4.2 and offers advanced security and privacy features.

The cheapest AirBolt costs $55 on Kickstarter – see more details about the project in the following press release.

Bluetooth-enabled Travel Lock AirBolt Will Teach Your Old Bag New Tricks

Controlled by your smartphone, AirBolt’s TSA accepted smart luggage lock doesn’t require a key or combination

Melbourne, Australia – October 28, 2015 – Australian startup AirBolt today launched its Bluetooth-enabled smart travel lock that can be used with any luggage. Air travel has become increasingly stressful and complex. But while technology continues to advance rapidly, some basic necessities, like baggage locks, continue to frustrate anxious travelers.

AirBolt wants to simplify the journey with a travel-sized smart-lock that can recognize a bag’s owner so there’s no key to lose or forget. Using Bluetooth, the compact AirBolt smart-lock syncs to an app on a compatible iOS and Android smartphone.

AirBolt owners will benefit from a number of other advanced security features. For starters, the lock won’t open until the owner’s smartphone is in range and a release button is pushed on the lock. Additionally, the AirBolt app will notify you if you move too far away from the lock (you can select the range) in case you accidentally leave your luggage behind.

There’s also an optional passcode on the phone, which will prevent unauthorized access without the owner’s permission. Access-sharing is permitted through an app on each user’s phone. You can even share access remotely around the world if you like. And if your bag is ever misplaced in transit, AirBolt uses a crowdsourced GPS system to display the last seen location of the bag.

The AirBolt lock is also TSA accepted, essential for Americans (and Canadians) and travelers through the U.S. Non-approved locks can be broken off – at the owner’s expense – by a TSA security agent so luggage can be inspected. If you’re concerned about belongings disappearing from your bag during inspection, the lock even logs activation history so you’ll know if your bag was opened by a TSA agent.

In fact, using a design patented by AirBolt, the TSA barrel actually activates the lock electronically, which means the whole access point can be completely disabled – even for TSA authorized key holders – should the user have a need for added security.

“The idea came after a bad experience with an expensive TSA approved travel lock that wouldn’t open for me,” says Kabir Sidhu, AirBolt’s CEO and founder. “Somehow the combination on it changed when the lock got knocked around and I had no way of cutting open the lock easily. I began thinking that there just has to be a better way of securing your luggage. There is no reason why a travel lock shouldn’t be able to capitalize on today’s technologies to make traveling with luggage a little more stress-free. That’s why we designed AirBolt to be simple to use, affordable and reliable.”

AirBolt is ready to go out of the box. It’s powered by a rechargeable battery, with a one year lifespan, that can be charged through a standard micro-USB adapter. Unlike bulky padlocks, you can use the AirBolt with most luggage pieces and standard zipper sizes, which means you don’t need to buy pricey smart-luggage, which can cost as much as $800.

AirBolt is looking to raise $35,000 USD ($50,000 AUD) in a 45-day Kickstarter campaign.

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.