While you can take a number of different steps to ensure your luggage ends up at its intended destination on time, mistakes can happen, and your luggage can get delayed or worse, lost. And even if you have all of your information filled out, your itinerary inside your bag, and every point of contact connected to your bag, it doesn’t mean whoever finds it will be able to get ahold of you.
Bags can get wet, torn open and some contents may even go missing at times. Now all the sudden that little piece of paper with your contact info on it can’t be read and is worthless. To combat this, a couple different companies have invented “smart tags,” which rely on a combination of modern technology and a durable piece of metal to aid in the recovery of your luggage in the event it becomes lost.
How Do Smart Luggage Tags Work?
While these tags are advertised as “GPS-Enabled,” there isn’t really a live GPS tracker in the physical tag. The tag is a simple piece of plastic or metal with some unique information on it. You can’t just open up an app and instantly see where your luggage is.
Instead, the tag you purchase has a unique web address on it that anyone who knows that address can access. Meaning the person who finds your luggage and sees the unique address can access necessary contact information. A random person won’t be able to figure out the address unless they have it right in front of them along with the code printed on the tag.
When you receive your tag, you are required to “activate it.” What this means is you register your smart tag with the company you purchased it from and assign vital information to that unique web address. This information is then stored in the system by the smart tag manufacturer, living there virtually forever.
Now whenever someone goes to access that web page after navigating to it from the smart tag attached to your lost luggage, they can see the information you put there. This allows them to get ahold of you and make arrangements to get your bag, or whatever it’s attached to, back in your hands.
The GPS feature that many of these tags advertise is basically a log their system creates whenever someone accesses the unique address on your tag. It’s not clear how the system determines the location of who has accessed the web address, but at the least, it may estimate location based off IP address and other factors. This will give you an idea of what airport your luggage may have ended up at. You can add your email address to the account to get instant notifications when the tag has been accessed and see the estimated location provided.
Why Buy a Smart Luggage Tag?
If it sounds similar to a traditional luggage tag, just with the information moved to the cloud, then you heard correctly. The idea of the tag is just that, however with the information being digital you can store a lot more info, such as it’s intended destination/address, or other information that may not fit on something the size of a note card.
What makes it different than a traditional tag is it’s much more difficult to become damaged and unreadable. It’s really easy for traditional tags to get ripped off if getting checked, or the information on the card destroyed. Some smart tags, like the Dynotag, come with a braided steel loop and the tag itself made of aluminum.
Additionally, Dynotag has several other options such as stickers and smaller tags to place on other objects like laptops, keys, backpacks, small electronics, and even your pet’s collar. You can connect multiple Dynotags to a single account, so you’ll receive notifications if any of the devices or luggage is found.
Secondly, if your information ever changes, you get a new phone number, your address changes, etc. you don’t have to buy a new luggage tag. Simply update your information on the Dynotag website and you’re good to go.
Third, there are no recurring payments like other smart location devices. The price you pay upfront is all you have to pay, ever. Additionally, Dynotag offers an incentive for the return of your luggage to the person who found it. Their “Good Samaritan” program provides returners a complimentary Dynotag and a Thank-You letter on your behalf.
A Dynotag, or other smart tag, is a good and affordable investment you can make for your travel experience. Accidents do happen and if I’m able to get my belongings back with the help of a tag that costs than half a tank of gas, then it just makes sense.
Also published on Medium.