Sunday, March 18, 2012

New Pet Tracker Debuts on Kickstarter


It has been a while since we took a look at some upcoming GPS technology on Kickstarter, so I decided to take a peek and found a promising pet tracker called Pip. Created by PetSimpl, this tracker is advertised as having a GPS chip that is accurate to within five feet, but also uses cell data to inform you of geofence breaches, etc. And the coolest part? If your furry friend goes wandering, then the unit will work with your phone to give you GPS directions to your pet in real-time. The unit also has a really long battery life–an expected three months before needing a recharge–and is waterproof and rugged so your pal can romp and play without worry.

The device has been in the making for several years, and has won several awards for its design and such. They are currently looking to fund the app development, and actual manufacturing on Kickstarter, with a goal of $50,000. From what their page looks like, all of the initial testing is complete, and a working prototype already exists.

The Kickstarter funding level at $150 ($180 for those who miss the Early Bird specials) will land you with a single pip unit, a charging base and, more importantly, lifetime free use of the product. After the Kickstarter, there will likely be a monthly fee, but I didn’t see an actual number listed anywhere.

Pip is pretty small, and is advertised as being created for a 15-pound terrier mix, so it would presumably work on cats as well as dogs.

As with all Kickstarter projects, this one isn’t fully funded, and if it doesn’t get the funding, then all money will be refunded. It sounds pretty good, and $150 for a lifetime tracker for your pet isn’t actually that terrible of a price, in the grand scheme of things.

The Kickstarter page also talks about Pip, which comes with Bluetooth capability, working as a sort of connected key for your pet, allowing you to program a pet door to only open for your pet, or to program a food dish to dispense food at certain time, etc. None of these projects are currently funded or researched–merely concepts for additional products should Pip receive the required backing. Regardless, it seems like a pretty neat idea, and I’m definitely going to have to keep an eye on this one!

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