QR codes help track lost school property
WHEN Spencer Sheedy's son lost his $250 school blazer, it was the last straw.
Fed up with his two kids constantly losing their school possessions, he and wife Rita have set up My Lost Property.
But these are not just stickers and iron-on labels. As well as the child's name, they also contain the unique innovation of a QR (quick response) code which can be scanned, logging the item and its location and texting the parents to arrange pick-up.
Mr Sheedy initially created the stickers for his two children. Soon, he was making keyrings, stickers and labels for friends before the idea for a business struck.
He has started approaching local schools and formed a sponsorship arrangement through the Schoolzine company, which does bulk school newsletters online.
"Schools have been really responsive. They like the simplicity of it, and lost property is such a problem for them," he said.
"We just want to get the word out to parents.
"When that $250 blazer went missing, we thought we needed to do something more than just the hit-and-miss putting a name on there and hoping it will come back. This just gives you a bit more of a chance of it coming back."
There are three types of subscription packs available, starting with a $25 pack including 15 dishwasher-proof stickers, 15 iron-on labels and a key ring (they can be divided up to cater for more than one child).
They are placed on clothing, drink bottles, iPods, lunch boxes and backpacks. If any item is lost, the finder scans the code with their phone and has the option of remaining anonymous, sending their phone number or email address to arrange pick-up or drop-off.
A text and email is also sent to the parent.
If the finder cannot scan the code, there is information on the sticker directing them to the website where they can enter a unique serial number to perform the same function.
"In the first two weeks of a term is when students lose the most, and hats are the biggest culprit," Mr Sheedy said.
"And if you move schools or your email address changes, we can change all that information. And it remains safe and secure."
Mr Sheedy is donating $1 from every sale to the Smith Family, as well as another dollar to the school of each child who subscribes.