Gadgets

Bluetooth monitoring units surge in recognition with Kiwis

Travel

Auckland Airport has embarked on a massive recruitment drive for 3000 jobs as the country’s borders fully reopen tomorrow night. Video / Supplied

How do you travel through major international airports without losing your luggage?

If the surge in interest for Bluetooth tracking devices is anything to go by, Kiwis have a plan for how to avoid the baggage chaos.

Recent data from price and product comparison service PriceSpy saw interest in the shopping category of suitcases growing massively across the winter months, increasing more than 578 per hundred year on year.

However, another item also saw a significant uptick in interest; Bluetooth tracking devices. This item jumped more than 376 per hundred year on year.

Within the last 30 days, it’s up 152 percent.

The connection between suitcases and tracking devices may have seemed unusual a few years ago.

Even Liisa Matinvesi-Bassett, New Zealand country manager for PriceSpy admitted the jump was odd.

“Consumer purchase interest data for Bluetooth tracking devices is also significantly rising, which is unusual for this particular shopping category.”

As stories of missing suitcases grow (much like the piles of luggage themselves), it makes perfect sense.

“As momentum gathers in the news around passengers losing luggage at international airports, it seems Kiwis are looking to take extra precautions to help them keep a closer eye on their suitcases, looking to buy gadgets such as the Apple AirTag and the Samsung Galaxy SmartTag, said Matinvesi-Bassett.

As well as being affordable, Matinvesi-Bassett said these devices can give travelers peace of mind about where their luggage is while in transit and at international airports.

How do Bluetooth tracking devices work?

Bluetooth technology may be complex to explain, but simply put, these tracking tags sync with a mobile-phone device, so you can see it’s location.

Travelers can then put a tag in their suitcase or bag and track where it is through a mobile app.

For example, when using an Apple AirTag, people can use the Find My app to see the exact location of the tag (and thus, their luggage). The app also has a feature that can direct you exactly to the tag by showing how many meters or kilometers away it is.

Plus, if your tag is buried amongst a pile of luggage, the Find My app can also be used to sound an alarm from the tag, making it easier to locate.

Although, as travelers have discovered, knowing where your bag is one issue; actually getting it is another.

Recently an American traveled for 96 hours back to Germany to retrieve four suitcases after seeing they had been left behind in an airport. Another traveler accused airline staff of stea

Popular Bluetooth Tracking Devices

Like most technology gadgets, many large tech brands have their own version, which tends towards the more expensive side, while spinoff versions also exist online.

However, considering the value of your suitcase and its contents, it’s worth spending a little extra for a tag that is reliable.

Both Apple AirTags and Samsung Galaxy SmartTags start at $49. Apple’s variation can also be purchased in a pack of four for $180.24.

These are just one of several ways you can avoid losing your luggage.

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