Here Kitty, Kitty

GPS Tracks have launched their GlobalPetFinder, which does what it says on the tin – enable pet owners to find their pets.

GlobalPetFinder works by attaching a 5 oz device (140 grams if you’re a. modern b. non-American) to the pet’s collar. This enables owners to track their pets and monitor the temperature of the environment, in case they get into danger that way. Maybe hop into the fridge or something.

On small animals it works by rendering them completely unable to move as their collar weighs too much. So you always know where they are – where you last put them. Actually, disappointingly, it’s only recommended for animals of 30 pounds or over (13 kilos). But I think that the devices will get smaller and be able to cater for a wider range of pets.

Unlike, child tracking services, that I’ve criticised many times (eg here and here, this seems a very good use of LBS – actually one of the best I’ve come across.

Firstly, it offers pet owners a solution to their worst fears. While it’s facile to compare a parent’s affection for a child, with a pet owner’s for a pet (especially gerbils), it is in the same ballpark of emotion. Therefore, you have a motive for people to pay for this.

Secondly, thank heavens, pets go missing much more than the average kid, so there’s a very real need for it.

Thirdly, none of the privacy or breach of trust issues apply. I mean, who cares if Fido feels violated?

Finally, whereas kids will find a way to game the tracking system when they want to, pets just aren’t up to it.

Nice idea, chaps.

But, the price means you have to love your pet very, very much indeed to get them one of these. $349.99 to buy the tracking device, $34.99 connection fee and then $17.99 every month. Frankly, this seems way over the top – even though they’re selling via Neiman Marcus. We’re a long way off seeing Homer popping one on Santa’s Little Helper but there is certainly an opportunity for a more mass market variant and that’s for sure.

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