The Deakin-designed smart school bag can sense when items are not required and would be better off left at home.

Packing light made easy with Deakin’s smart school bag

July 17, 2019 BY

A GROUP of innovators from Deakin’s School of Engineering have developed a smart school bag capable of completing its own morning checklist.

The high-tech backpack is equipped with built-in hardware and software that works together to scan whether the bag is appropriately packed for each day’s timetable, including books, lunch, sun smart paraphernalia and sports gear.

Designed by Waurn Ponds senior lecturer Dr Hamid Abdi alongside masters students Jayadev Ajayakumar, Naga Venkata Durga Surendra Anna and Lahiru Abeysekara, the smart school bag uses radio frequency identification (RFID) tags to recognise items in the bag and the Internet of Things (IOT) technology to examine its contents against the daily school plan.

“We know packing the school bag each morning can be difficult, especially for younger kids, because the timetable changes daily and each day they need to pack different things,” Dr Abdi said.

“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.

“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.”

Dr Abdi said the new technology will help minimise excess weight as the bag suggests packing only what’s needed on any given day.

It’s also able to send content alerts via smartphone application to students, parents and teachers.

Though the system can be fitted to any school bag, Dr Abdi and his team have designed a prototype smart school bag, whic includes the smartphone
app.

It’s estimated the new generation of school bag could retail for between $125 and $150.

“We are now at the demonstration stage and looking for commercial partners to take this project to the next level,” Dr Abdi said.