Qualcomm. You've probably heard of them. Hell, chances are pretty solid that you've got a bit of Qualcomm in your pocket right now - if you've got any recent, popular Android phone in there, at least. More-likely-than-not, it's running on Qualcomm's Snapdragon chipset.
Qualcomm has been up to all sorts of fun stuff lately: they've got an SDK that makes it feasible for just about any developer to build otherwise insurmountable augmented reality projects, they're doing all sorts of work around location-based peer-to-peer technology, and now they're… uh.. building rechargeable GPS collars that help you track down your lost dog.
Called the “Tagg”, this thing is being built by one of Qualcomm's new wholly-owned subsidiaries, Snaptracs.
Here's how it works:
- You charge up the Tagg, then strap it to your dog/cat's existing collar. Qualcomm says it should fit well enough on any dog or cat over 10 pounds. Looks a bit silly on that little Bull Dog up there - but hey, looking silly is better than looking gone-forever.
- You define “Tagg Zones”, which map out the places the pet frequents most, like your house and the surrounding yard.
- At any time, you can use your mobile or a browser-based tool to ping the collar for your dog's current location.
- Any time your pup roams out of its pre-defined “Tagg Zone”, you're sent an e-mail and/or text alerting you that Mr. Mittens has decided to go off on an adventure.
- The rechargeable battery lasts around 30 days (though you'll probably want to charge it more often. Nothing like losing your dog on day 30.) When the collar starts running low, you'll be sent a text to remind you that it's time to juice up.
- A “trip” button lets you temporarily disable the collar, allowing you to take Snowflake across the fence lines (for, say, a walk) without alerts blowing up your inbox.
Oh, and it's waterproof. As anyone who's ever had a lost dog come back covered in what seems to be all of the mud in the world could tell you, that's probably a good idea.
The collar's wireless connectivity is all powered over Verizon's network. Qualcomm says this thing should launch sometime in September, with 200 bucks nabbing you the collar, charger, and one-year of tracking service.