Partnership to share ingenious invention
AFTER years of losing things and feeling fed up with replacing valuable items, Maree Machin decided to invent a solution to help reunite owners with their lost items.
She invented tracTAG: a barcoded device that allows lost items to be scanned with a smartphone, with the owner's contact details available for a "finder" to see.
Ms Machin said Australians lost nine items a day on average, ranging from wallets to car keys.
A light-bulb moment for Ms Machin came after losing her underwater camera while on a scuba diving trip, and wishing there was a way for it to be returned if ever found by another diving enthusiast.
"While I know that the ocean currents would have eventually brought my camera to shore, there was no way the finder could ever return it to me as there was no way of identifying it," she said.
"I wanted to create a solution that would allow items to be identified, so it would be easier to return them to their owner."
Ms Machin said while insurance helped cover the cost of replacing valuable items, there were some things that could not be replaced, such as memories, data, and personal contacts.
"Insurance can never replace the anxiety, stress and inconvenience of loss. Sure, the insurance covered my camera and would have paid for the replacement of my luggage, but nothing could replace the photos and great memories from my trip."
Ms Machin created two styles of tracTAG: the Compact and Everyday, and the Adventurer and Handy.
The first is a strong adhesive model.
The second is a metal swing tag, each with a unique QR and alphanumeric code.
She said experiences such as hers were often the key motivator for business entrepreneurs to find answers to common problems.
"My stressful holiday drove me to re-evaluate what was available on the current market, and motivated me to find a solution," she said.
"I could have chosen to do nothing and continue to be frustrated but I decided to find an answer, and tracTAG is proving to be a popular device already."
TracTAG has partnered with Maroochydore-based community organisation IFYS Ltd and fleet vehicle provider Crick Auto Group.
Ms Machin said she was a long-term supporter of IFYS's work and was proud to be able to provide tracTAG for the IFYS fleet.
"Losing car keys is pretty common for most of us, but when you have a fleet of vehicles, it's important to avoid the hassles of lost keys. The 24/7 services like IFYS have different people using the cars and depend on that availability," she said.
"We've come on board with IFYS as a way to recognise the great work that they do and contribute in the best way we can to help the organisation save time and money.
"Anything that lets workers focus on supporting our vulnerable young people has to be a good thing for our whole community."
- Content by JKPR and tracTAG