The best gadget to upgrade your smart luggage in 2021 — The AirBolt is a smart lock with a difference — it’s also a luggage tracker. It’s a seriously impressive bit of kit, and well worth the slightly higher price tag than many of its rivals.
Here we’ll take a look at what smart locks are, how the AirBolt differs, and some cool features it offers.
What’s a smart lock?
Locks without traditional keys, smart locks are locks brought into the 21st century via technology.
Unlike traditional locks they use differing methods to keep your luggage secure:
- Biometric security
- Fingerprint scanning
- FaceID via a smartphone
- Digital unlocking
- password or digital unlocking on device
- bluetooth or NFC unlocking via a smartphone
Some smart luggage bags have smart locks built in, but if your bag doesn’t they are a great addition to your luggage and provide a secure and hassle-free way of keeping your belonging secure. Here are some examples of smart locks and a brief FAQ.
How does AirBolt differ from other smart locks?
There are two main types of smart locks:
Smart locks needing external devices (computers / tablets / smartphones) to set up or use
Smart locks that solely use fingerprints or codes to unlock — requiring no external connection to set up or use
Usually, there are advantages to using the second type — smart locks that solely use fingerprints. They are simple to set up and use, and the addition of a smartphone or third-party device to unlock actually introduces a lot of extra hassle for no benefit:
- Take out your phone —> Find the app —> Enter a passcode —> Unlock your smart lock
Versus just placing a fingerprint directly on the lock.
However, AirBolt has improved upon this significantly — adding useful features to the app to turn your normal luggage into a smart bag with features rivalling even more expensive bags:
- Location tracking
- TSA approval and monitoring
- Theft detection via proximity monitoring
It does this by connecting to the dedicated app via bluetooth and data.
3 Cool AirBolt features
There’s a wealth of features with the AirBolt — from giving someone else time-limited access to your device, to alerting you if your luggage is stolen.
Here’s three of the best.
AirBolt — hands on review
Feel & Design
First things first, this feels like a premium product — well-made and sturdy. With a stainless-steel casing and a decent flexible steel cord — it feels solid and would definitely take a real beating to break open. The black option looks sleek and fits with most luggage, but there are five other colours if you want to add a touch of style.
The steel cord is a real benefit over traditional padlock styles. It fits through the zips on most luggage, and the flexibility is also useful when you’ve got too much in your bag, or you want to attach the handle to an airport bench to stop someone walking off with your luggage if you doze off.
It’s certainly strong enough for use as a travel lock — unless you had special tools you would struggle to break this open — it would definitely deter pickpockets. Likewise, the AirBolt is also water resistant and comes with a 1-year warranty for piece of mind.
Worries about the vulnerability of smart locks vs hackers can also be put to rest. The digital encryption is unlikely to be broken either. The AirBolt smart lock uses 128-bit encryption — one of the most secure digital encryption methods.
Unlike some cheaper smart lock alternatives, the batteries in the AirBolt are rechargeable. It’s good news for the environment and also for your wallet!
The battery is also covered in their warranty, so if it doesn’t live up to the 1-year battery life as promised — you can get a free replacement.
There’s more on that 12 month battery life too — a handy feature is the ability to set a manual backup code to the device:
- The circular button on the front of the device acts as a keypad with left and right buttons
- If the AirBolt ever runs out of battery, and you’re on the move and can’t charge it, you can just use this manual backup to unlock it using a combo of left and rights without needing power.
TSA approval is a must for anyone whose travel involves the USA. Especially with a device of this price — you don’t want to risk your lock being cut or your smart luggage being damaged in the process of opening it.
The AirBolt smart lock is fully TSA compliant — meaning they can access it using the standard TSA master key if they need to inspect your luggage. However, an extra bonus is that this feature can be selected on and off.
Occasionally, people are worried about TSA master key unlocks — and quite rightly so. While the key is not readily available, there are inevitably copies, and they are occasionally used by pickpockets as a quick way of entering into luggage.
With the AirBolt, you can turn the TSA feature off when you aren’t using it, meaning that when you’re past security at the airport, travelling outside of America or via train, you can rely on the full security of this smart lock without the TSA “weak point”
Set up and App features
The AirBolt app is free and available on the App Store and the Google Play Store. It’s a pretty easy set up that takes around 5-10 minutes the first time.
There’s a full video walkthrough and step-by-step instructions on the AirBolt website, but the app is very intuitive, and it’s unlikely you’ll need them.
The app itself allows you to do some pretty impressive stuff. You can share the lock with family members or friends, and this comes with a variety of permissions. You can give them straightforward access, or you could just allow them a one-of or time-limited permission to access your bag — and check that they have locked it again afterwards!
Summary — AirBolt Reviewed
While the AirBolt is slightly pricier than many smart luggage locks, the wealth of features it offers really stands it apart from many of its rivals. It is well worth the price.
Looking at the number of features it adds to your luggage — location tracking, proximity detection, biometric unlocking etc — it takes the hassle out of travel and makes a big upgrade to any smart luggage.
The AirBolt does all this in a compact, sleek-looking package too. While it was originally crowd funded, the AirBolt is now a proven product, winning several design awards and coming with a 1-year guarantee.
If your smart luggage doesn’t have an inbuilt smart lock, the AirBolt is the perfect upgrade.