Did you hear about the very, very lucky music student? She got on a bus in Boston with her $170,000 violin, then got off a few hours later in Philadelphia without it. After a few anxious days, and with help from the bus company and police, she and her instrument were reunited. Lucky indeed.
I doubt any of us travel with such valuable luggage. But all of us can lose stuff when we’re rushed or distracted. When it happens, most of us think, “It’s probably gone forever.”
Someone else’s problem—until it’s yours.
Of the 2.5 billion bags that airline passengers check every year, 850,000 will in fact be lost forever. That’s a darn good batting average, but not if your suitcase or laptop is lost. Then, all the others don’t matter.
Here we must give the airlines their due: Carriers have found prescription bottles, store receipts and even wedding photos in missing bags and matched them with their owners.
But curiously, regulations forbid them from powering up found electronic devices—even though they’re loaded with information that can ID their owners!
Look to the east for the solution.
As in any other place, people in Japan misplace valuables every day. Yet in the Japanese way of life, someone who finds a stray item will in all likelihood bring it to the nearest koban, or local police office. That’s the idea behind the new Okoban® service from Travel Sentry®.
Okoban harnesses 21st-century technology to connect you with your lost valuables:
- You purchase products with Okoban identification labels, or buy Okoban labels and tags for items you already own.
- You register your valuables online with the unique identification code on the Okoban label.
- When someone finds your item—anywhere in the world—he or she can enter the Okoban code online. Okoban then notifies you via email or SMS text telling you where your item is and how to get it back. That means you could receive notification that your item has been recovered while you’re still in the airport!
Can’t afford to lose it? Okoban it.
Okoban tags and labels can help you recover practically anything: passports, skis, phones, laptops, tablets, e-readers, headphones, musical instruments, you name it. Plus, you’ll have a personal page at okoban.com where you can securely upload photos of your valuables for insurance purposes. You can even upload scans of your passport and other travel documents, for access in case they get lost.
Okoban, welcome to America.
Japanese and European travelers have embraced Okoban—and now it’s launching in the U.S. with Brookstone. Learn more at okoban.com—and if you already use Okoban, please feel free to post a comment.