weird commerce

Weird Commerce: Smart Traveling With Barracuda

Traveling has become a necessary part of today’s society. With the online world connecting people in a fashion that’s never been done before, traveling has become a much more feasible activity for people.

Whether it’s taking a road trip across the country with college friends, taking a honeymoon cruise or flying out of town for a work conference, there’s no escaping traveling from place to place. As such, there’s no real way to avoid packing a suitcase with the necessary items for most any trip.

In today’s fast-paced economy, that traveling comes with a few more issues than trips from thirty years ago. While in the past, it all came down to just packing the right amount of clothes and toiletries, today involves a whole new bevy of items like laptop chargers, phone chargers, headphones and more. As such, there’s usually a struggle to find an outlet in the airport or hoping that a battery lasts for the duration of the trip.

Given the nature of the on-the-go person and the fact that there are literally 7,000 flights crisscrossing the United States at any point in time, the need for simplification at any step is a necessity — especially when it comes to luggage.

One company that’s looking to alleviate headaches in the traveling process is San Francisco-based startup company Barracuda. To help assuage people’s travel concerns, this company has developed a smart suitcase with various features to boost the sometimes stressful process of getting from point A to point B. We sat down with Barracuda’s founder and chief design officer, Boban Jose, to learn more about what inspired him to start the company and where it’s heading in the future.

“Traditional luggage is boring and uninspiring. They all look the same and have the same functions. I wanted to create a carry-on that blends technology with design innovations to create something unique,” said Jose.

What Jose and his team did with the Barracuda collection was put the priorities of today’s tech-savvy traveler at the forefront. The carry-on roller bag contains a tray to fold out for drinks or laptop work, an exterior compartment for charging device batteries, a portable scale for luggage weight limit checks, a lost location tracker and a proximity alarm to alert people when their bag is close by on the baggage claim belt. Barracuda also thought about what happens when people get home and need to store suitcases by making it able to collapse to half its size.

As far as moving Barracuda into retail stores, the company isn’t quite ready at this time. Jose said, “Not at this time. We need to deepen our product portfolio first. Right now, we only have one product — our smart collapsible carry-on. To be effective in the retail space, one needs a deeper range of products so the retail outlets can optimize floor space better.”

In terms of the travel gear industry, there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of what the possibilities are for consumers looking for new ways to make the entire process more streamlined. As such, it should come as no surprise that Barracuda has plans to extend its products beyond its current offering to further ingratiate itself into the transportation arena. Jose said, “Yes, absolutely. We have plans to extend our offering to a full range of travel gear products. In 2017, we are working on launching our state-of-the-art smart backpack, Konzu.”

From Barracuda’s indiegogo page, it looks as though the soon-to-be-released Konzu backpack is aiming to make the connected arena easier for not just students but for anyone commuting in a city with a packed schedule.

Jose shared what he hopes for Barracuda’s long-term plans: “To be the first brand people think of when they are in the market to buy a high quality and innovative travel gear product.”

With the current smart collapsible carry-on bag and the upcoming Konzu smart backpack, it may be safe to say that Barracuda is well on its way to revolutionizing the way people travel.


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