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Meet Ben Levitt and Katy O’Brien of OneBin

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ben Levitt and Katy O’Brien.

Ben and Katy, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
The original idea for OneBin was generated by a group of graduate students in a product design and development course at MIT’s Engineering and Sloan Business Schools. The challenge posed for the design project was to identify a common travel frustration and create a solution for it. After an extensive survey, our team found that one of the key hassles for travelers lies in the waiting time and stress of the security screening process.

During the course of the semester, our team created a functional prototype that we had the opportunity to demonstrate to TSA at Logan Airport in Boston. Former TSA Federal Security Director at Logan, George Naccara, was so impressed with the product that he connected us with TSA Headquarters.

Following the conclusion of the course, Ben and Katy were so confident in the idea that we decided to invest in it and pursue it further. Since then, we have established a manufacturing partner for the bins and have successfully created a professional commercial product. We have customers in the maritime security industry and continue to be contacted to secure partnerships in the aviation security industry as well.

While our product was initially developed with TSA in mind, it was actually Norwegian Cruise Lines who debuted the OneBin on four of their vessels. The successful pilot of the OneBin on Norwegian Cruise Lines has confirmed the tremendous benefits of the improved security tray.
Quotes from an NCL lead security officer:

“The OneBins are professional in their appearance and as soon as our Chinese clientele saw the labels on the tray there [was] no need to explain that we are searching their belongings.”

“We are delighted with your product.”

In the aviation security industry, we have introduced the OneBin to TSA officers at security checkpoints across the country and their reactions are very positive across the board. Officers have consistently requested our business cards, citing that they are “blown away” by the production and “cannot wait” for the product to be in security lines across the globe.

We continue to work hard to push the OneBin into the mainstream and we are confident that customers across all security industries will be overwhelmingly satisfied with the product if they take the opportunity to try OneBins in their security lines.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The biggest challenge for us thus far has been securing an official OneBin trial with TSA or a private airport security company. We have received very positive feedback and encouragement from security officers at check-points all around the globe and have gained headway with TSA officials, but it has been challenging to break through to TSA Headquarters in Washington DC, who are ultimately responsible for making these decisions.

Recently, we have had the opportunity to work with the TSA Innovation Task Force and we are excited about the opportunity as we believe it will give the OneBin the exposure that it needs in order for TSA to make the investment in our product.

We have, however, had some great opportunities along the road that have helped push us to realize our dream of creating more efficient and safer security process. Some of these include winning an MIT Design Contest award, achieving finalist status at the ASME iSHow, and being recruited to be on CNBC’s Millionaire Inventor.

Recently we headlined a MIT Alumni publication, Slice of MIT. https://alum.mit.edu/slice/product-design-project-yields-safer-faster-security-checks

Please tell us about OneBin.
We at OneBin specialize in offering system-level solutions to security industry challenges, specifically targeting security line inefficiencies. We not only manufacture a larger, instructive bin, but we also offer infrastructure solutions to extract maximum value from the OneBin advantage.

We are very proud to have a “Made in the USA” product that removes the primary pain points of the current security checkpoint process. Simply put, the idea behind the OneBin is to provide one bin per passenger. We do this by increasing the size of the bin to accommodate all personal belongings of each traveler in a single bin.

This approach has a number of benefits, primarily realized through the instructive labeling within the OneBin. These benefits are as follows:
• Instructive labels communicating exactly what items need to undergo security screening through visual graphics
• Standardization of the layout of passenger items that must undergo screening, facilitating the actual security screening process
• Facilitating the re-composure process by enabling passengers to carry a single tray, in addition to their luggage, to the re-composure area

The two key users that we focus on are the security and team the travelers.

Security Personnel: a safer and faster security process
• Standardized Item Locations
• Reduced required number of X-Rays per Traveler
• Promoting collection of all belongings to reduce left-behind items
• Reduced security manpower

Traveler: a quicker and improved experience
• Unified signage with receptacles
• Eased movement to re-composure area
• Larger bin fits 99% of all travelers

Contact Info:

  • Address: 19 Stanhope St Apt 1B
    Boston MA 02116
  • Website: www.one-bin.com
  • Phone: 6178516402
  • Email: ben@one-bin.com
  • Instagram: instabinmit
  • Twitter: OneBinMIT

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