Billing itself as “the world’s first motorized, rideable luggage” (like that’s something we really needed), the Modobag boasts that the “carry-on smart luggage” can get travelers to their destination three times faster than walking.
That’s a bold claim. It’s said to zip along at five MPH in “indoors mode.” Conversely, I walk at three MPH, so it’s not quite twice as fast as me in an airport. Add to that the obstacles of other people, stairs, and escalators, and I’ll bet I can beat it from arrival gate to departure gate almost every time.
However, they say it can go faster (eight MPH) in “outside mode,” and I have to wonder why you wouldn’t ride it at outside speeds in an indoor setting. I also have to wonder whey there are even two speeds. Weird.
Storage capacity is a modest 2000 cubic inches, making it 75% smaller than the Tortuga Travel Backpack. When it’s empty, it weighs a whopping 19 pounds — which is almost three times heavier than the Eagle Creek Gear Warrior 32 we carried with us on our trip around the world — so a fully-stuffed bag could be a considerable weight.
The thing also comes with a mobile app (for another $69) that you can use to track your bag with built-in GPRS–GSM, which is a nice feature. But if that’s something you really need, it’s also available via other (cheaper and less ridiculous) products, like the Trakdot. Modobag gives you this service free for one year (no word on rates after that).
Other features include dual USB ports to charge your devices (a feature that is available from any number of other solutions) and a padded seat because riding your luggage through an airport not only looks silly, it can also hurt your butt.
Modobag is powered by lithium batteries, but it doesn’t say how many milliamp hours (mAh) it pumps out. Many airplanes don’t allow higher capacity batteries onboard for fear of spontaneous combustion, so that could be another surprise travelers may encounter when they try to board with their heavy mobile luggage.
Full retail price of one Modobag looks to bea bout $1,500. However, although they’ve raised $158,000 against a goal of $50,000, it’s being funded on Indiegogo, so it’ll probably never make it out of production.