In an effort to help travelers make the most of limited space in their luggage, an Italian design company developed a prototype of a convertible travel shoe. Called “Shooz,” they offer uppers that use a zipper to fasten the uppers to the soles. The design enables travelers to carry several different shoe styles because the detachable uppers flatten out for more efficient packing than conventional shoes.
|Photo provided by Shooz|
Shooz should be in the hands of, and on the feet of, its backers -= and available to the general public - shortly.
A second product, Andiamo iQ luggage, is in production but with substantial modifications to its most innovative proposed features.
The 100 percent polycarbonate case with a lightweight aluminum frame was envisioned “as an integrated technology platform that accompanies your luggage,” according to company marketing materials.
|Photo provided by Andiamo iQ|
As a long-time fan of Andiamo luggage, I was impressed and jumped on the crowdfunding bandwagon.
While I was hardly alone, the product didn’t generate the robust following the manufacturer had hoped; 117 backers pledged a bit more than half of the company’s “flexible goal” of $50,000. It became clear that the public support for such a high-tech platform just wasn’t there and, in early June, the company let backers know the plug had been pulled.
“We developed Andiamo iQ to maximize packing capacity with modular technology of connectivity and a mobile WiFi hotspot,” backers were told in an email. “We just didn’t get the orders that we expected in order to justify moving forward with the project [and] have made the decision to end final production of iQ Smart Luggage (as originally developed).”
The company is moving forward with the luggage without the technology, which is what made it so appealing to me.
Importantly, it is developing the stripped-down case without spending any of the money raised through the crowdfunding campaign. "All our efforts and production have been supported by equity dollars," the company added.
Died on the vine
|Photo provided by Modobag|
Called the Modobag, it was being billed as “[T]he world's first motorized, smart and connected carry-on.”
In addition to two USB ports to charge phones and portable electronic devices and companion iOS and Android GPS navigation apps to track the location of Modobag anywhere in the world, the bag was to have a lithium battery-powered electric motor capable of propelling the bag at up to eight miles an hour.
All that innovation and excitement would not have come cheap; the initial estimated retail price for the Modobag was $1,899.
Backers only pledged a bit more than $21,000 of the $160,000 needed, so the campaign ended without the Modobag entering production.
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