Some inventions are truly innovative and catch us by surprise. Hop! is one of them. Invented by a Spaniard, it may well be the best invention to come out of this country since the mop was invented. And Hop! could be a very useful tool for travelers who suffer back problems, since it’s a suitcase that you don’t have to carry or drag behind you. You don’t even have to touch it to take along with you. How does it move? It’s easy. You just need a smartphone and then activate your Bluetooth.
The Hop! suitcase has three sensors at each corner to receive and triangulate the signal coming from your smartphone, and cause it to automatically follow you. So if you have your smartphone in your pocket, the suitcase will “magically” follow you. The integrated microprocessor locates the signal and in this way follows your exact movements from the spot you just passed. The suitcase moves on small wheels that enable it to move lightly, practically hopping, which is how it got its name.
And the question that everyone is asking: What happens if the suitcase is lost or if someone takes it? If the smartphone loses its signal with the suitcase it automatically starts to vibrate, so the user will know exactly when the signal has been lost and the suitcase is not following him or her. The suitcase locks itself and stops moving when the signal is lost, which is especially useful if you are walking through a large crowd. And the other question: What if I’m traveling with more than one suitcase? Do you need more than one smartphone? Do I need a smartphone for each case? No, one smartphone is enough, since it can be programmed to send signals to several suitcases and these will then move in a line.
The inventor of Hop! is Rodrigo Garcia, of the Polytechnic University of Madrid. He was presented the James Dyson Award, a competition that awards undergraduate and graduate students in design and engineering with £ 20,000, approximately € 24,500, which is to be shared equally between the winner and his or her university.
Who was this invention created for? Although it can be used by people of all ages, it is particularly useful for elderly travelers or people with back problems. They can then avoid having to bear the weight of their heavy luggage. And while it would certainly make a great gift for your grandparents, you’ll have to make sure they’re up-to-date on how to use a smartphone.