Launched in 2015, Horizn Studios has created stylish smart luggage that comes fitted with GPS tracking and built-in battery chargers to charge your devices. Here, the company’s CEO Stefan Holwe tells Globetrender how it all started, and why these innovative cases will change the way we travel.
What is Horizn and what does it offer that is innovative?
Horizn Studios is an international “smart luggage” brand, based in Berlin. We aim to meet the needs of today’s tech-savvy digital nomads with luggage that fuses design, travel and technology.
What motivated you to create smart luggage?
Having racked up plenty of air miles – and a huge amount of passion in the process – we kept asking ourselves one question: why can’t bags and luggage be designed not just to hold our items, but to make the travel experience more enjoyable?
There has been very little innovation in the luggage industry until now and we realised that we had an opportunity to inject an update into the relatively dormant market with travel bags that are designed to cater for the digital needs of the modern traveller.
We work with a maverick team from around the world to create designs with a focus on quality and innovation, so that our luggage – which features state-of-the-art smart technologies – ensures our customers remain relaxed and connected on the go.
What problems are you looking to solve?
In a time when people are constantly travelling and overly reliant on mobile devices, we’ve all been there when you suddenly run out of battery when you need it most.
The first thing that came to mind was “why not integrate a charger, which on the one hand is lightweight and on the other is powerful enough that it can charge your iPad or iPhone numerous times?”.
Although not a technological revolution, the inclusion of this feature is an advance in luggage technology, and we received an incredibly positive response when the Cabin Trolley launched.
We also set out to make our customers’ lives easier and more enjoyable when travelling. What is worse than the dreaded idea of your luggage getting lost at the start of your trip, resulting in hours wasted at lost-and-found or on a hotline?
There are in fact 25 million pieces of luggage “misplaced” each year, and this can happen to the most frequent of travellers. We, therefore, give customers the option of adding an integrated GPS tracking function, which sends information with the exact location of your luggage direct to your phone.
How are you looking to expand and develop?
Product wise, we keep innovating, challenging the status quo, and never stop our mission to create products and services that empower our customers to enjoy their journeys and travel with maximum comfort and ease.
As an online-first company, we already ship worldwide and we have plans to develop our brand globally.
Today, we are Europe’s first smart luggage player and the only independent premium luggage brand in Europe. Our ambition is to strengthen this position in the coming years, while preparing for focused market entries in the US and Asia.
What inspires you?
Travelling, music and people.
How is new technology transforming the way we travel?
Technology enables us to create products and services that improve our lives in so many ways. Often, when technology is implemented in a new territory for the first time, it can feel alienating or unusual for some.
That’s ok. Over time the benefits of convenience, connectivity, and time-saving become apparent and usually overcome reluctance to embrace the technology, gradually becoming not only accepted but standardised.
As time-poor travellers running out of battery, there is a long list of common problems that techology can help optimise, and it’s these problems we regard as opportunities in our mission of improving customers‘ travelling lives.
We are currently developing a number of new features which we will reveal soon – I can assure you the future is exciting.
Horizn currently has both carry-on and checked hard-shell smart luggage in night blue, black, dark olive, electric blue and infra red. The suitcases are priced between €159 and €399.