While wondering around my neighborhood last week, I noticed two different Lost Pet posters attached to street signs and adorned with adorable photos of clearly pampered felines who had somehow escaped from their homes and become lost.
As an “animal person” and a cat lover myself, I couldn’t help but feel sympathy for these pet owners who loved their cats enough to walk around in the cold, plastering “Missing Cat” signs all over the neighborhood—and offer up significant rewards.
Then I got a timely e-mail from Verizon Wireless, touting a new GPS-based, pet-tracking system called “Tagg.”
The Tagg system consists of a special, water-resistant collar-attachment with an embedded GPS chip that pet owners affix to their animals’ collars. And the Tagg chip lets you track your roaming furry friend via a variety of Web browsers and free mobile apps for Android and Apple iOS devices.
You can also set GPS parameters and e-mail or text-message notifications for whenever your pet leaves a designated “safe zone,” so a wayward animal can’t get too far without you knowing.
The Tagg Pet Tracking System will set you back about $100 for a single collar and charging station. And it costs $7.95 a month, after a one-month free trial, which is reasonable.
But it does have a few limitations. Obviously, if the Tagg collar is removed or gets pulled off, etc., you won’t be able to track your pet. And because it needs to be charged at least once a month, a pet with a Tagg collar that’s almost out of battery life could only be tracked for as long as the collar’s battery lasted. (Users can opt to receive e-mail notifications whenever the Tagg collar needs to be charged to help combat this issue.)
The Tagg collar attachment also looks fairly large and awkward, which could be a bit of an issue for small—or feisty—pets and cats. But I suppose a large-ish collar is a small price to pay for piece of mind.
The tracker also comes in a variety of colors for you fashion conscious pet owners.
My cats are indoor pets and they don’t current wear collars. So I’m not sure how they’d take to them, especially collars with Tagg GPS trackers. But I’m seriously considering picking up a couple Taggs as Christmas gifts for my significant other–and our felines.
Al Sacco was a journalist, blogger and editor who covers the fast-paced mobile beat for CIO.com and IDG Enterprise, with a focus on wearable tech, smartphones and tablet PCs. Al managed CIO.com writers and contributors, covered news, and shared insightful expert analysis of key industry happenings. He also wrote a wide variety of tutorials and how-tos to help readers get the most out of their gadgets, and regularly offered up recommendations on software for a number of mobile platforms. Al resides in Boston and is a passionate reader, traveler, beer lover, film buff and Red Sox fan.