Smart school bags on the way

The Smart School Bag app, developed by Deakin School of Engineering researchers.

Students may soon have absolutely no excuses for forgetting their homework or lunch.

Australian researchers have developed a ‘smart school bag’ capable of alerting students and parents to items that haven’t been packed.

The school bag features built-in hardware and software to ensure it’s been packed correctly with what a student requires for the day.

The bag can even tell if an item isn’t needed and should be left at home, ensuring schoolchildren aren’t lugging around unnecessary weight.

The smart school bag uses radio frequency identification (RFID) tags to detect items in the bag and Internet of Things (IOT) technology to check its contents against the daily school plan.

It has the capability to send content alerts by smartphone to students, parents and teachers.

Although the smart school bag sounds incredibly futuristic, it may soon become an item commonly used by Australian students.

The Deakin University engineering team responsible have designed a prototype smart schoolbag that includes the smartphone application which could retail for between $125 and $150, making it an affordable option for many families.

One of the creators, Dr Hamid Abdi, says the smart school bag will make the often difficult task of packing much easier.

“We think the smart school bag will save a lot of time and stress that occurs when homework, hats or lunches are left home by mistake, especially if that requires parents to quickly race home to collect the missing item,” he explained.

“A mobile application developed in this project lets parents see the items in the bag and automatically checks them off against the timetable, identifying what is missing and notifies parents if anything else needs to be packed.

“With a smart school bag, children won’t need to leave everything in their bag every day. The system helps them pack only what is needed that day and not worry about forgetting something the next day.”

The engineering team are now at the demonstration stage and looking for commercial partners to take their smart school bag project to the next level.