Gone are the days when your only luggage choices came from giants of the industry. Crowdfunding has made way for a bevy of inventive indie designs, from suitcases that you push instead of pull to carry-ons made from 100% recycled materials – and now you can another one to the list.
Last year, a brand called Rollogo introduced a truly unique concept, and with a campaign that’s now live on Indigogo, it’s improved on the original. The second-generation Escape S is the only suitcase on the market that generates its own power while it rolls, thanks to wheels that charge the detachable battery pack while they're in motion.
Not only does the wheel tech generate electricity equivalent to a 1A wall adapter, rendering the fight over the only outlet at the gate irrelevant, the carry-on also serves as mobile office, with a flat top surface – sized to accommodate a laptop – that doubles as a workspace; it also flips open to reveal a small compartment that holds your essentials. The power bank provides ten hours of juice, and it can charge two devices at a time; plus, with the linked app, you can check the status of the battery and keep track of your bag via Bluetooth. On top of that, the exterior is covered with a water- and stain-resistant hydrophobic fabric made with nanofibers – at 80% more durable and 90% more liquid- and stain-repellent, it's a vast improvement on the original.
“We looked at luggage innovations in the past few decades and realized the only breakthrough was the addition of wheels, followed by moving from two to four wheels. Even though the way people travel has changed drastically over the last ten years, the structure of luggage remains more or less the same,” says founder and designer Stevenson Lau. “We wanted to address this by designing luggage that is ultra convenient for a business traveller.”
With a creative team spearheaded by industrial designer Frédéric Gooris, a Philippe Starck alumn, and a craftsmanship master who leads a crew that makes the luggage by hand, quality is clearly a priority. And then there are those wheels. “Our engineers created the power-generating wheel system, the kind that not only maintains charge in all directions but also has a suspension system to protect the wheels,” Lau says. “It provides a smooth rolling experience on uneven grounds.”
It took three years from start to finish – nearly two years from concept to design to a prototype that was 90% of the way there, then another year to get it it to 100% – but considering the early feedback, the teams’ efforts seem to have paid off. “Early adopters really love the design,” Lau says, especially the “clean and extra power at no additional cost.”
The crowdfunding campaign ends on 23 October, and with perks starting at $375 (£291), it has already hit 170% of its funding goal. For more information, visit indiegogo.com.