|Purred: Tue Sep 10, '13 10:02am PST |
|I think it would be a great idea, and here are my thoughts on it:
The device would need to be fairly tiny. Since I doubt that it would be something that could be implanted, the cat would have to wear it on a collar. Obviously, something that would need to be fairly tiny to avoid irritation, or just looking really stupid. I'm thinking about how huge the tracking devices scientists use on wild animals are. I don't want that. I want it to be out of sight, out of mind until I have to use it.
The second thing it would need to be was fairly cheap. Cat are notorious for losing or getting out of their collars. While it could be larger and more expensive for a large breed dog that is less likely to lose it, if I have a cat, I don't want to spend a lot of money on something he might lose, especially if he is an indoor/outdoor cat. Think of it this way, I can spend $30-$40 for a microchip, and it will stay in the animal forever. It might not be as effective as this other technology, but it's cheap and will last me for the life of the pet. Alternatively, I can spend $10 on a collar and ID tag. It might get lost, but I'm not out much if it is. In theory you would be able to track it to the location it was lost, but what if it ended up in a puddle or that grumpy neighbor's yard?
How is this going to affect the battery life on my smartphone? Not to be selfish, but if my battery is going to die halfway through the day because it is constantly searching for a blue-tooth signal, I'm going to disable the app until I need it. It would need to only be activated for people within "x" mile radius after the owner sent out an alert for a missing pet. Also, perhaps there could be two apps, a free one for people without pets registered with the system, just to get more phones on the system for people who want to help detect pets, and then the paid version, where you can send out an alert for a missing pet, register your collars, etc.
Kind of building off the previous point is privacy. Because I see this also being used for dogs, I don't want my pet on the system at all times. What if someone sees that I have Fido out of the walk, meaning I'm not home and they can rob the place? What if they can see that I boarded Fluffy at a pet hotel for the week? What if I wanted one for all of my pets, but I technically had one too many, or I'm babysitting someone's pet, I don't want animal control to be able to drive by and count how many animals I have! The system would need to be very secure in order for me to feel comfortable using it.
My last comment will be on cost. Obviously, what people would be able to spend on something like this would vary a lot. Right now, I'm young, just graduated, don't have a job, and broke. We aren't struggling to put food on the table, but we also don't have any extra to spend on things we don't absolutely need. So right now, I probably wouldn't fall into your target demographic because even if it was only $10, I'm not going to be able to justify the cost when I'm saving pennies. On the other hand, I know people who spend a few hundred to a few thousand a month on their pets without batting an eye. Those people would be your early adopters. So there is definitely a demographic, but it is probably going to be from a smaller group of people until people use it and (if it works!) tell everyone else how wonderful it is and how it helped get Spot home.
Sorry for writing a book. I really do think this is great!
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