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Pioneering luggage tracker lands Bond University team award

March 19, 2018

A team of Bond University students have created a pioneering system to track luggage, landing them the major award at the SCU Gold Coast Airport Innovation Challenge.

The team of five students - Abbey Byfield, Nick Inglis, Valentina Hofer, Victoria Serre and Lucas Brown - took home the accolade for Best Innovative Solution, including a $1000 prize and the opportunity to pitch their idea to Gold Coast Airport.

Coached by academics Libby Sander, Adrian Gepp and Ben Hayden-Smith, the students went up against nine teams from across the Gold Coast in the competition, which challenged entrants to design and develop a new IT solution for the travel industry.

Assistant Professor Libby Sander said the team only came together two weeks prior to the competition and put in 12 hour days to finalise their concept - Smartport, which allows travellers to track their bag from drop-off to pick-up.

"The concept aimed to create a 'smart airport' and is similar to a parcel-tracker, meaning travellers can watch the movement of their bag every step of the way," she said.

"The aim is to improve the traveller experience and address the $2 billion cost-annually of the more than 21 million bags that go missing globally each year.

"The Bond University team came up with a block-chain solution. It involved a huge amount of work, extensive coding and collaboration among the students, who were from a variety of disciplines including technology, creative design, marketing and communication.

"Each of the students is also involved in our Transformer program, which aims to install big-picture solutions to everyday problems, but only two had met prior to the competition.

"The team dynamic was incredible and they worked tirelessly to execute their solution in such a short amount of time.  We're extremely proud of each of them."

The one-day Innovation Challenge was held at the Digital Enterprise Lab at Southern Cross University's Gold Coast campus and supported by Salesforce and Gold Coast Airport.

The winning Bond University team will be offered further mentoring, support and facilities to help further develop their solution.