If you’ve ever had the unfortunate experience of losing a dog or cat – desperately searching the streets while you wait for the shelters and/or council to reopen – then a new device using the latest in technology may be able to help.
Eliminating the need for a trip to the vet, shelter or council to have a microchip read, Tag’d digital pet tags use NFC (Near Field Communication) technology which can be swiped with a mobile phone to display an owner’s contact number.
The first of its kind for this application in Australia, the technology works by tapping a mobile phone onto the Tag’d digital pet tag which is fitted with a NFC chip. Any mobile phone with NFC technology can read the tag. Once the NFC reader is turned on and the tag is tapped, the reader will display information about the pet, including the pet’s name, the owner’s name and the owner’s contact details.
If you don’t have a mobile, the team at Tag’d has also set up a 24-hour, 1800 number which is included on the back of all tags and can be called to identify a lost pet which is matched to a unique number, also on the back of the tag. Tag’d has provided this service for those people without mobiles, or for those with an iPhone as NFC technology won’t work with an iPhone (it’s expected NFC will be included in the iPhone 6).
Registration of a pet can be done either through the Tag’d website or by a mobile with NFC technology.
Creator, Dave Tormey says he developed the tags because he believed technology could be used to help reunite lost pets with their owners quickly, reducing stress for both parties.
“I have always been a pet lover and have seen firsthand how difficult it can be to reunite lost pets,” says Dave. “Microchips are great but still require the trip to the vet to have the chip read. Even then, the details may not be correct especially if the pet owner has moved interstate or is transient. Or worse still, the pet may not be microchipped.”
Because the owner always has access to their password-protected registration, contact numbers or change of address details can easily be changed online or with the NFC reader.
Dave says he’d like to see Tag’d integrated with microchips and other pet registries.
“By using our tags with both chipped and non-chipped pets, I believe this would go a long way to creating one pet registry that could be the definitive source for all pets.”
For those unfamiliar with NFC, in the past there have been concerns about privacy and security. Dave says they’ve developed the software with these concerns in mind.
“Security is always paramount for me when I develop software. Our digital pet tags are as secure as any other pet tag as the tag has to be tapped or bumped by an NFC device for the pet owner data to be retrieved,” says Dave.
He says when pet owners enter their details and the details about their pet, they also choose the information that they want to be shared with others.
In addition, Dave says, “I encrypt the data which is used to retrieve the pet owner information, which further secures the owner information.”
Tag’d have been up and running for about three months and according to Dave have almost 3,000 pets registered, most of them in Queensland.
Click here for more information on Tag’d.
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