Every few hundred or thousand years an invention is made that revolutionises humanity. There's been the wheel, the combustion engine, television, the internet massive life-changing ideas. And now it's time for another one. Introducing... Hop! The Following Suitcase. That's right - a suitcase that you don't need to carry. One that follows you around like an obedient little lapdog. Amazing, no? Check out this radical game-changing invention in this video:
Genius, eh? Well, okay we may have overstated it a little bit. And to be fair, that video doesn't exactly convince with its juddery movement, but the general idea (and we're sure the actual Hops will be slightly better than the prototype in the vid) is pretty cool. Sauntering around the airport with no need to lug your luggage about yourself? Leaving you spare hands to browse Duty Free and check that your passport's in your jacket pocket for the nine hundredth time? Perfect!
How does it work?
Well, the basic idea is that you download an app and sync it up with the tech implanted in the case. When you're ready to have you case follow you about, you simply activate it by sending a bluetooth signal via your smart phone. The sensors inside the suitcase pick up on the signal and work out whereabouts you (and your mobile) are by triangulating that signal. Somehow. There's a microprocessor in the suitcase that drives two tank-style caterpillar tracks on the bottom of the case to follow after you all the way to the plane or hotel!
Isn't is likely to get stolen?
Well, maybe. Obviously you haven't got that tight a grip on it (well, no grip...). So it can be pinched. But once the case gets out of range of your mobile, it locks itself shut. So any would-be thieves will be unable to rifle through your Speedos and cheap cigarettes, anyway. You then get a message on your mobile to say that the case is out of range so you can react to it and alert security.
A big winner?
Designed by genius/madman Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez, the self-driving suitcase is still being improved on as you read this, so isn't yet available commercially. The crazy invention has been entered for the prestigious James Dyson Innovation Award though, an international student design prize that is due to be decided and announced later this month. Best of luck, Rodrigo! You may need it!
"I have made some prototypes but there is not an actual product that works 100 per cent yet," he says. I don't think it will be expensive because they use the same technology as the automatic vacuum cleaners that cost around 100."
Sounds expensive but gone will be the days of lugging you suitcases round the airport! Rodrigo reckons his case will not only appeal to travellers that like to stay hands-free but also thinks that his invention could be a real boon to disabled people on their travels.
How does 'Hop!' sound to you? Can you see yourself getting one when (or if) they're available in the shops...?