Sunday, March 18, 2012

Updated: Implantable GPS Chip for Pets

Logo with Company Name Slogan

Update: So, I looked into this a bit further and found that this is likely a fraudulent crowdfunding attempt and thankfully never got off the ground. Karen Zackton is actually Karen Hanover, and was convicted of fraud and detained for an unrelated incident. She has stepped down as CEO of EscapeAlert and has insisted that the project was legitimate and simply ‘delayed.’ Regardless, the site has gone black and there hasn’t been any new news on it. While the idea is definitely a good one, I wouldn’t recommend giving this company your money.

Two of the most common uses of GPS tracking are to keep track of loved ones and to help find lost pets. But GPS pet collars are clunky, expensive and easily lost. Now, a company called Escape Alert is prepping to launch a Kickstarter next week to change that. Through crowdfunding, Escape Alert wants to create an implantable GPS chip to track your furry loved one wherever they may roam.

Unlike microchips commonly implanted in pets, which only provide your information when scanned at clinics and shelters, this microchip actually has a mini GPS chip inside and so it can actually track and relay your pet’s GPS location if they go missing. The current design does not allow for indoor GPS tracking, but if the Kickstarter raises enough funds, then additional features such as indoor tracking will likely be added.

Chip4The chip is roughly the size of a grain of rice and will be the first implantable GPS chip of its kind for animals. The coolest thing about this little tracking device is the technology powering it. According to their site, the chip will be powered through a piezoelectric nanogenerator—a device that is able to convert motion into energy—so every time you walk your dog or zip the laser pointer around for your cat, the chip will be recharged. If you want more information on how the nanogenerators work, check out some of the articles on Escape Alert’s website about this cool new technology.

The device is still in the development stage, with more information to be announced during the launch of the Kickstarter. A solid price hasn’t been set (although the estimated retail will be somewhere in the $100 – $200 range), and the there may or may not be subscription fees, depending on how much the Kickstarter raises and how much money is required for development and upkeep of the system. The current estimated shipping date for the project is late 2015, but again, a lot of things currently depend on funding and public response.

Like many other GPS tracking devices, this chip will work in conjunction with your smartphone, and alerts and tracking are all done via cell phone texts which will relate information. There will also be an app to help monitor the GPS chip’s location, but exact details and functionality haven’t been announced.

Dog & Cat PlayingResearch by the National Humane Society and the National Council of Pet Population Study and Policy  estimates that one in three pets will be lost during their lifetimes–more than 10 million pets each year. Of those, only one in ten are ever found and returned to their owners.

“Together, we have the chance to do something really important. We have the chance to completely put an end to pet theft and make losing our pets a thing of the past,” said Escape Alert founder Karen Zaxton. “By doing so, we can decrease the number of animals in shelters and therefore, the number that is euthanized. And that would be a wonderful legacy.”

When the Kickstarter is launched, I’ll be sure to update this article with the information. But until then, let me know what you think about this device in the comments! And don’t forget to hit up the Escape Alert website for more information or to see about helping support this project.

Update: The Kickstarter never launched, and the website is now no longer operational. I presume the project has been dropped, but I haven’t been able to reach anyone to confirm. If I see any changes, I’ll update the article again.

 

Comments

  1. Interested to hear more uk based

  2. please don’t give up on this we need it for are pets! please let us know what’s happening? thank you usa

    • Unfortunately, it looks like the device flopped. The Kickstarter never launched and the website is just a blank page now. I can’t seem to find the email of the owner, who I did speak with for the original article, for comment. If I can get ahold of her, I’ll be sure to update everyone!

  3. Please don’t give up. We need this. Microchips are only good if someone takes the time to scan it. if someone finds your dog they don’t always check.
    This is very needed and i would get it for every dog I own.

  4. i have been looking for something like this for my Mastiffs for a long time now. Dogs are stolen around my home all the time. My dogs are inside pets but do go outside to play and take care of business. Sometimes they chase the local wildlife and run off. I definitely want to know if anyone moves forward with this idea. I will buy them for all my dogs and other pets I have.

  5. This would be invaluable to not only dog owners but to law enforcement to break up dog fighting rings and recover stolen pets used as bait dogs. Please don’t give up!

  6. How do I get one !

  7. someone please pick this up!!! I think it would really go over, i would try but I’m retired and don’t have the $$$$

  8. ron schulte says:

    i was thinking of this and found this page my son is a computer expert annd assures it can be done.

  9. What a great device
    But will it be loseless and completely safe for a pet?
    Probably magnetic waves will be going out of it..

    Kai | http://www.dogica.com/microchip.html

  10. Are there any news according??

  11. Adrienne Burgess says:

    This has to come! We just lost our cat under the most tragic circumstances. He had broken his two back hips and was trapped at the back of a neighbouring garden, unable to move, but just 30 years from our house. He was out in the rain for three nights and had to be put to sleep after we found him. He had no ‘miaow’ so could not be located – he was always a silent cat. Even if we had found him immediately we still would have had to have him put to sleep but he would not have suffered. How can we get this off the ground? with new battery technology it should surely be possible soon!

  12. I think that this micro GPS chip will be beneficial. Many pet owners consider pets as family and loosing a loved who tends to have a curios mind to wonder at times is very difficult. This will also alleviate theft on certain breeds that individuals are looking to take or not return. Just because you a name tag on your pet doesn’t mean that someone will return him or her back to you. I love my two boxers and from what I’ve put into them love, care, and medical needs would devastate my family and I if they just disappeared. I’m all for this GPS micro chip and I’ll looking forward for it to be released.

  13. i think someone could make a lot of money with this i myself have already sent thousion of dollars trying to pertcet my pets and find them which where i live are cats are dissapering at a alarming rate i’ve already bought microchips not just 1 or 2 but 25 we have barn cats we had about 12 down to 4 now, cheaper to get the chips in lots and we are getting the mini chips don’t hurt so bad needles smaller, plus collars, tracking collars you name it were trying it, total around 4000 thats money that someone could make if someone would pick this up that could make it! and i.m just one house hold.

  14. If Bond “007” can have an implanted GPS locator…it shouldn’t be long before our pets can!
    Can’t believe that no one is working on this …already established technology. I know most GPS units require their own power to work…maybe this is the problem? I know there are millions of pet owners who would jump on this. Unfortunately, services like Home Again won’t be needed since you could track your pet from your home PC or phone.

  15. I want to make this implantable gps chip a reality , I have the money what I need is some contacts on who can help me achieve this.

  16. This as to happen. What do you need.

  17. Stephen: What kind of contacts do you need?

  18. mahmoud fawaz says:

    dear sir
    i need a chip gps tracking system for my pit dig

  19. The planet needs this product!

  20. Do you have an implantable GPS Tracker for livestock

  21. Do you need help marketing this product. Would be intereste . Live in Miami fl

  22. Bill murphy says:

    Dear,Sirs:
    Is your tracker ready for sale?
    Bill murphy

  23. Pet owners need this. My dog currently wears an invisible fence collar and a blinking light at night, when we let her out, because she’s black and we can’t see her. She has occasionally run thru her barrier and kept going. Her blinking light saved her last month after taking off after a cat, we searched all night long for her, a kind person saw her blinking light and picked her up and called us. An implantable GPS would be great. Collar wearable GPS devices are too big, please don’t give up on the implantable design.

  24. Al Batros says:

    I am a retiree with a motor home and two cats. I am scared to death that one of my furry friends will get lost at one of the many places that I stop. If I could implant them with a tracking device, I would sure rest a lot easier, especially if I could track them on my laptop. If this company is lacking funding it is most likely because no one knew about it. I would suggest getting the word out to veterinarians where they can pass it on. I would certainly invest in the safety of my friends, as I’m certain that many, many others would ! Please keep us informed ?! Thank you !

  25. I am very interested in this, I work with rescue organisations that this would be very helpful too, I lost a dog 10 years ago and never knew what happened to him, I would love this for my current pets. I am based in Australia and would be interested in investing and helping to distribute this product here if it can get off the ground. Keep us updated. Thank you

  26. Almost every pet owner would need this devise.

  27. Please, this is a huge NEED that someone could pick up and fill!! Look at the numbers of Pet
    Owners just begging and waiting to buy this Chip?! Millions! This would make a Rich Man MUCH
    Richer, plus, it would be a wonderful contribution to the welfare of Animals. I worry constantly about
    My Cat getting outside, becoming frightened, and running off. He won’t wear a collar. I decided to Googled about a GPS chip, because I knew one should be out and available by now. I’m shocked to see that it was almost done and the ball was dropped. I’m sure at least 50% of all pet owners will want one!! $$

  28. I would love for this to happen, i’ve been trying to get someone to pick this up! we have 3 cats in house and and 3 cats at my mother-in-law’s barn and 4 or 5 missing cats! that’s 11 just for usl if they can’t figure out how to power it what about (at least on house cats anyway) have the gps inplant and then power it wifi , with a battey on a collar and rechargeable? well anyone??

  29. Steve Chapman says:

    Really interested in this project
    Is there anyone pushing this forward?
    It looked so promising with “Escape Alert” (http://escapealert.com), but looks like it was a scam, as the Karen Hanover has been done for fraud and the website has closed down
    http://www.ocweekly.com/news/karen-hanover-convicted-of-fraud-no-longer-part-of-crowdfunding-microchips-for-lost-pets-6481240
    You can red more about it here https://www.facebook.com/EscapeAlert/
    Hopefully this tech will be available soon
    If anyone hears anything, please keep me in the loop
    Thanks

  30. I would buy it if they can get it up and running with no flaws the charging part seems little sketchy I would have to see long term tests done make sure it holds up to par 200 dollars is alot of money for a gps tracker

  31. Kim Slabber says:

    Hi there,
    I was wondering who I could speak to regarding details of manufacturers involved with the Escape Alert gps tracking device.

    Please could you advise.

    Kind regards,
    Kim

    • I also very interested in it,now I devote to it to make it happen.I am a Chinese.
      add my skype lehehe to talk more.

  32. Arda Hagting says:

    I’m interesred too. IT should be possible with crowdfunding if someone knows how to make it.

  33. I live in rural France and have over the years rescued 4 cats. Last year my beautiful ginger – girl – who had been through so much ill health and was so happy with her new and healthy life had her breakfast and skipped out into the garden, like she had done many times before. We never saw her again. We did everything imaginable to try and get her back and a year on we are still broken hearted. I would be prepared to pay almost any price to have my other cats fitted with an internal GPS tracker, but it HAS to be safe for them. How do we know that an alien object placed in their bodies which transmits signals is safe for them? How could we be sure that the final,product was made by a reputable company? If Rubis had been fitted with a tracker, it wouldn’t have saved her life, but we’d have found her and brought her body home. The potential for this tracker is stratospheric on so many levels. There HAS to be a way of getting this product off the ground.

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