|The Modobag will be available from January 2017.|
Telephost - We have all been there, attempting to make our way through a crowded airport, late for our flight – only to have our paths blocked, or our heels clipped, by the sight of a small child being pulled towards the gate by their parents on their own wheel-along suitcase.
Depending on whether or not you have procreated and are escorting offspring of your own, you may decide that this particular vision is cute and heart-warming. You may even find yourself idly wondering whether the animal this be-wheeled luggage is designed to resemble is an elephant, a rhinoceros, a giraffe or perhaps a dragon – it can be hard to tell.
One thought that won’t pop into your head – probably – is: “I wonder if anyone has ever thought to make one of those things for adults, and would I look good while riding one?”.
Happily, if you have entertained this daydream, nirvana is almost at hand.
An American entrepreneur has come up with the “Modobag” – a piece of carry-on which is designed to convey grown-ups through busy airports with the minimum possible effort.
On the down-side (when compared to ridealong bags for junior travellers), the Modobag does not look like a creature from the African savannah or a medieval fairytale. On the plus side, it does come with a motor, a steering pole and brakes – meaning you can drive it all the way to your flight’s last call without working up a sweat or a shortness of breath.
The Modobag can even reach speeds three times faster than walking – an indoor setting of 5mph; an outdoor setting of 8mph – making missed connections a thing of the past.
Better still, once the battery has been charged for an hour, the Modobag will run for a full nine kilometres (five miles) – ideal if you find yourself at a particularly enormous airport where your gate is at the furthest possible point from security. Even better that this, it is fitted with USB ports, so you can charge your phone or other devices as you trundle past your fellow passengers like some 21st century Lancelot or an ultra-modern Don Quixote.
It was designed by Chicago-based Kevin O’Donnell, who was inspired by ride-on suitcases for children – and created the Modobag with the help of a motorcyclist friend.
“From the first-time traveller to the veteran flight attendant, there is widespread agreement that Modobag will help make travel more functional and fun," O’Donnell says.
The only problems for would-be purchasers is that this revolution is not available until January, that it can only be bought from the crowd-sourcing website Indie Go Go, and that it comes with the not inconsiderable price tag of US$1095 (£845) – plus shipping.
Oh, and the slight issue that it may make you appear ridiculous.
“Why can't we ride our luggage and get to where we're going faster with less stress?”, O’Donnell asks.
Because it will make you look silly, Kevin. It will make you look silly.
Then again, O’Donnell is not the first visionary to offer something just a little outlandish as a way to improve the lives of the average traveller.
Other recent "innovations" include the "b-tourist", a length of elasticated fabric meant to be stretched between two aircraft seats to create a sleep-friendly headrest of sorts – and the "ostrich pillow", a fluffy full-head encasement which reputedly allows "power naps anytime anywhere", but may also cause mirth in others.