unexpectedtech:

Autonomous Suitcase: The Perfect Travel Buddy

Hop, the robot suitcase, is the brainchild of enterprising Spanish inventor, Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez, who, in addition to inventing new-age robo-luggage, has served up the perfect platform for other inventors to jump aboard to develop enhancements for Hop.

The potential add-ons for the robotic suitcase seem limitless: a future add-on might ask the suitcase to nip off to fetch a cup of coffee or to hail a taxi or to do whatever else that makes an airport wait easier or more constructive.

The robotic suitcase follows its owner by tracing Bluetooth signals from a Smartphone. Gonzalez placed three sensors in the luggage that receive signals from the Smartphone and has also planted a microprocessor to drive the two caterpillar tracks which power the suitcase.

Hop website: The same microcontroller operates a caterpillar system based on compressed air, which follows the user at a constant distance.

The bags can be programmed to follow one to another or controlled jointly by the staff that handles baggage at airports or transit stations.

If a suitcase can move by itself, besides facilitating the lives of a large number of travelers, families, or even disabled people, it could also impact baggage-moving conveyor belts, carts or most any sort of external conveyance.

If the signal from the phone is lost, the suitcase will lock itself and send a vibrating alert to the user’s phone.

https://vimeo.com/45966677

smarterplanet:

Ikea’s Augmented-Reality Catalog Might Be the Company’s Best-Made Product Yet | Gizmodo

We’ve already shared our favorite items from Ikea’s 2013 product catalog, but what we didn’t know was that as of July 31st, the catalog itself will be an interactive product of the latest augmented-reality technology.

iOS and Android users who download the Ikea catalog app, will be able to unlock video features, interactive experiences with products on the page, photo galleries and additional decorating inspiration.

Developed by the creative agency McCann, the AR app is a project that the Swedish build-it-yourself furniture empire has been working on for quite a while, since 2011 when they first expressed interset in bridging the print/digital divide. Linus Karlsson, Global Chief Creative Officer of McCann, explained to Wired that replacing the paper catalog with an entirely digital product wouldn’t make sense, “If you had a magazine that had 211 million copies in circulation, you just would’t end it. That would be crazy.”

With this added digital layer, shopping Ikea’s collection will become a little bit easier—an “X-ray” feature allows you to peer inside cabinets, for example, making a trip to the brick-and-mortar store potentially unnecessary. (Not enough of Ikea’s collection is available for purchase online to cut out a trip to the store entirely.)