This will certainly not be the last "Uber partnership" announcement...but this is surely one of the most useful app integrations with the on-demand ride sharing service: the lost luggage pickup.
The integration comes from the team at Bluesmart, the connected suitcase startup that has now raised over $2 million in one of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns ever (and not just in travel).
As announced on the Uber Devblog, those who purchase a Bluesmart will now be able to send an Uber to pick up any lost baggage, saving a huge headache while also allowing the Bluesmart team to work with the airline to authenticate ownership of the bag. This will be available in the US only for the time being.
Of course, airlines usually cover the cost of returning a bag to a traveler so the true utility might be lost on some travelers. Yet the ability to track the bag's progress is an extraordinarily useful one that eliminates the annoying broad window of time that the airline usually offers for baggage delivery. A Bluesmart user can monitor and be available to accept the bag — wherever they may happen to be.
For Bluesmart, the focus is now on making its companion app as feature-rich as possible to justify the price the many customers paid for its connected suitcase. This suitcase truly must be heads-and-shoulders above anything else on the market, as expectations are high with the digital elite that are among its first customers. If it manages to deliver on, and exceed, expectations, then the company will be poised to be one of the first breakout travel hardware companies of the smartphone era.
Concierge-style services are clearly an easy fit into Uber's on-demand lifestyle model, one that is already expanding to all areas of logistics. And given that there are many addressable markets in travel beyond getting a car to take you from point A to point B, Uber is only getting started with its desire to be the digital glue of the on-demand real world.