Lost And Found: Findster, The GPS Pet Tracker With No Monthly Fees
There are a number of GPS and fitness tracking devices for pets either on the market or currently in development at the moment, so why add another one to the mix?
Well, when it offers something that the competition doesn’t, you may just want to add it to your Christmas wish list.
Meet Findster, a new tracking system that uses unique tags called modules, a home “base station” and your smartphone to stay connected to one another.
It’s the way the system stays connected that makes Findster unique. While most tracking devices rely solely on Bluetooth and cellular technology, Findster uses radio frequency (RF) to facilitate communication between the modules and base station, then delivers the data to you via smartphone app.
The rationale here is that cell phone and Bluetooth signals aren’t always reliable (ever had a dropped call?), but RF technology means your devices can communicate no matter where you are. Another big differentiator is that many GPS devices require you to pay a monthly fee for the service, while Findster doesn’t. Sounds good to us!
The only drawback is that the devices only communicate with each other within a certain range: the chips, or modules, can only communicate if they’re within .62 miles of each other and the modules can only communicate with the base station within a 1.4 mile radius, so it won’t work if your dog has run far away from home or you.
That said, Findster’s creators hope to eventually have base stations installed in public places like parks and schoolyards, allowing people to track their pets and kids even when not near the home base station.
And don’t worry, the connection between your and your pup’s module tag and your smartphone app is secure — no one has access unless you give them specific permission. It could be an excellent tool to give your dog walker, for example.
You can also set up geo-fencing, so when your pet leaves a specific area (like your yard, for instance) you’ll get a notification on your phone. So if you’re curled on the couch or entertaining holiday guests, you’ll know right away that your pooch is on the lamb and be able to bring them home safely.
Findster’s Indiegogo campaign is already over and they’ve exceeded their funding goal, but you can pre-order a Findster Pet Edition for as little as $99, which will get you one ‘guardian’ module tag and another tag for your pet, plus a charger. The tag attaches to your pet’s collar, making it really easy to set up. There are also more expensive packages that include the base station, so go have a look!
Findster is expected to ship in April 2015 and can be ordered via their Indiegogo page.
Christina Peden is a lifelong animal lover and avid wordsmith. She lives in Toronto with her boyfriend Ryan where they are proud pet parents to puppy, Matilda and cat, Oscar. In her spare time, she can be found enjoying Toronto, Canada's all-too-short patio season, taking advantage of the city's numerous parks or curled up with a good book.
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