Deakin School of Engineering researchers are looking to commercialise a ‘smart schoolbag’ that can alert students, parents and teachers if students forget homework, books, lunch, a hat or other important items.

The bag detects items that have radio frequency identification (RFID) tags attached and then checks those items against an online checklist.

If the bag doesn’t detect that little Johnny has packed the right items, it sends an alert via a mobile app.

Parents can also use the app to check which tagged items their children are taking to school each day, said Deakin School of Engineering’s Dr Hamid Abdi.

"We think the smart schoolbag 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.

While children might be disappointed if smart bags make it harder to ‘forget’ homework, perhaps they’ll discover an upside – we assume the system won’t detect contraband, such as lollies or worse.