Recominte and Telit develop luggage-tracking service

Recominte and Telit have developed a new portable device capable of tracking luggage during transit.

The Brazilian company – which describes itself as a leader in the aeronautic industry – is using modules supplied by UK-headquartered Telit (London) in the so-called Tracer Tag device.

It says the technology is aimed at addressing a growing issue for airlines and their passengers, with delayed and lost luggage costing the airline industry more than $2 billion last year alone.

A report from SITA, which specializes in air transport communications and information technology, claims that 21.8 million bags were mishandled last year – or 6.96 per 1,000 passengers.

Almost half of all delayed or lost bags come from transfer flights, according to SITA, and the use of tracking devise to tackle the problem has been tricky due to strict regulations.

Recominte (Sao Paolo, Brazil) says its technology has been designed to address these concerns by automatically shutting itself off when flying and turning itself back on when on the ground.

The module supplied by Telit combines GPS and cellular connectivity to provide a complete tracking solution that can be used in a variety of challenging environments.

That makes it ideal for use inside a bag transported by car, train, bus or plane, says Recominte.

Described as small and portable, the Tracer Tag has a battery life of up to 100 hours under good GPS reception conditions, claims the company, and can withstand extreme temperatures and other hostile conditions.

Recominte says it can also record sudden falls and ambient temperature, which are important factors to determine where possible damage to baggage or cargo may have occurred.

“Telit offers the broadest range of modules on the market today,” said Paulo Schiphorst, the chief technology officer of the Tracer Tag project. “Their technology made Tracer Tag possible.”