Screenshot from Airwheel website

With The Airwheel SE3, Your Carry-On Carries You

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Why walk when you can ride? And why should you have to pull your own luggage when your carry-on can carry you? Airwheel seems to think that its “smart riding suitcase,” which is absolutely packed with all the gizmos, plus an app, is the solution for today’s travelers.

It looks like the lovechild of an electric tricycle and a rolling suitcase, and promises to get you to your destination “up to three times faster than walking,” which sounds great, but if you do buy one, this rideable luggage from Airwheel just might get you pulled over in the airport, and good luck getting through the TSA checkpoint quickly.

Early adopters and hardcore techies tend to salivate over whatever they believe is the next big thing, and perhaps digital nomads and traveler- and influencer-types will soon find it absolutely necessary to have their luggage be smart and intelligent (however nebulous those terms are these days).

With its 29.3L of capacity and a maximum load of 220 lb (100 kg), the Airwheel SE3 is capable of packing at least some of your stuff, as a suitcase should, but thanks to the inclusion of the electric drive system and all of the various tech accoutrements, it also weighs in at almost 32 pounds (14.5 kg) empty. However, you also get a little electric tricycle capable of going 6.3 mph (10km/h), so you got that going for you, plus LED lights on the side, a Bluetooth speaker, and an app, and can use the SE3’s 185Wh battery to charge your other portable electronics. Of course, if you do want to take it on an actual airplane, you’ll need the smaller battery option (74Wh) to comply with regulations.

There are problems worth solving with technology, and this isn’t one. This is a solution in search of a problem, one which is likely to attract people with more money than sense, and there’s no accounting for taste, so perhaps we’ll be seeing airports and sidewalks packed full of people riding their intelligent electric suitcases in the future. Just think, if you spend $700 (€649) on your next carry-on so you can be able to ride on it, you’ll be on the bleeding edge of… something.

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Derek Markham

Derek lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, fungi, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves fresh roasted chiles, peanut butter on everything, and buckets of coffee.

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