Article by: Natasha Lomas
Finally coming to the pet tech space this summer: an app-controlled cat door that will tell you when your pet has left the building. RIP privacy for pets!
UK firm SureFlap, which already makes a range of microchipped-enabled pet products such as feeders and pet doors which only open for the correctly chipped (or RFID-collared) pet, reckons pet owners are hankering for even more remote-control options with their high tech pet kit — ergo, they’ve announced an app-controlled version of their microchipped pet door will go on sale this summer.
The forthcoming Microchip Pet Door Connect will have a companion app that enables pet owners to remotely lock or unlock the door from anywhere, and also schedule curfew times to keep their pets in at a specified time of day.
Owners will also be able to receive notifications via the app when their pet leaves or enters the house, and the app will log and track these comings and goings over time — offering a potential route to flag up changes in behavior.
Access to the app can also be shared with others, such as a pet sitter.
SureFlap is using the Xively platform for the connectivity layer for this, its debut IoT device — and says it will be launching a range of connected products this year.
The pet door is designed for use by cats and/or small dogs. It’s priced at £119.99 for the pet door and £49.99 for the hub — or £159.99 for both.
A minimum 1Mbps home broadband connection is required for the pet door to function, plus a spare Ethernet port to plug in the Hub device (pictured above next to the pet door).
The pet door is powered by 4 x C batteries — with typical battery life being more than six months “in most cases”, and up to a year with “normal use”.
SureFlap says it’s using industry standard encryption scheme TLS for the device, with all public facing servers load balanced through AWS’s ELB service to protect their IP addresses. Comms between the pet door and the hub are also encrypted, it adds.
Existing users of SureFlap pet doors won’t be able to use the app as its earlier products don’t include the necessary comms module but the company tells us they will offer these customers an upgrade option.