- Eagle Creek, the luxury luggage brand owned by VF Corp., created a bag collection with near-field communications (NFC) chips to activate a cloud-based web experience when tapped with a smartphone, per an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer.
- Travelers can see a personalized dashboard that shows all the places they've traveled, along a leaderboard that ranks their mileage against the other owners of its line of Caldera luggage. Eagle Creek also provides a lost-and-found feature to help people locate misplaced bags, warranty registration features and detailed product information and videos.
- Caldera owners also can share information about their trips with their friends, family and followers on major social media platforms. Eagle Creek collaborated with VerifiR, a maker of contactless marketing technology, to embed the NFC chips in its luggage, per the announcement.
By embedding NFC chips in its Caldera line of luggage, Eagle Creek can make its products more interactive through mobile devices and appeal to the many travelers who rely on their smartphones when they take trips. That's especially true for millennial travelers who are seeking original experiences they can share with their friends on social media. Tech-savvy U.S. millennials spend an average of $223 a month on travel, or $2,676 a year, according to a survey by bank Ally Financial, making them a key target for the travel industry and luggage makers.
While Eagle Creek is pioneering its use of NFC chips for travel bags, tech companies like Apple are already building out their support for NFC-based interactivity in smartphones and wearables. Apple last week added three big U.S. makers of fitness equipment — Octane Fitness, True Fitness and Woodway — to its list of partners for the NFC-based GymKit for the Apple Watch. The software lets Apple Watch wearers sync workout data with their fitness machines, NFC World reported. Since introducing GymKit two years ago, exercise equipment manufacturers have added the technology to more than 50,000 fitness machines worldwide, Wareable reported.
NFC technology also is gaining adoption in the growing market for contactless payments and ticketing for smartphone users. Retailers are adding NFC-enabled transactions, including Target, which in January announced plans to accept contactless payments at all of its U.S. store locations.
The transportation industry is also a significant driver of NFC adoption. New York last month introduced a fare payment system that works with NFC chips in smartphones and wearable devices like fitness trackers, Digital Trends reported. Paris plans to do the same and expand NFC adoption on its mass-transit system in September after piloting the program, NFC World reported.