Late last year, US airlines united to announce a ban on the use of smart luggage, over battery combustion concerns. The new rules required that bags with built-in electronics have a removable battery, in case they needed to be checked. At the time, Bluesmart CEO Tomi Pierucci called the news “an absolute travesty” in a comment to TechCrunch, noting that his startup was “getting punished,” despite the fact that any number of consumer electronics faced similar issues.
This morning, the executive told TechCrunch that the ban has led the company to wind down operations and sell its remaining assets to Travelpro. Pierucci says the company simply couldn’t continue to exist as an independent entity in the wake of the new rules. “We believe that according the circumstances, this was the best outcome for our clients, employees and investors,” he said in a statement.
According to a note posted to Bluesmart’s blog calling this an “irreversibly difficult financial and business situation,” Travelpro has acquired all of its tech, designs, brands and IP. Bluesmart has shuttered all manufacturers and sales, voiding all warranties and returns in the process. The company’s servers and apps will stay online for several months, and Bluesmart is still offering some semblance of support for customers.
“This represents a very unfortunate outcome for everyone involved, and we are all very sorry for this unexpected turn of events,” the company writes. “For five years, our team worked tirelessly to create great products and bring true innovation to travelers around of the world.”
The new rules went into effect earlier this year on American, Delta, United, Alaska and Southwest Airlines.