No, it's not a 24/7 GPS tracker. Pawnec’s location intelligence is distinct from a 24/7 location tracker. But let’s talk about the location tracker first. Location tracker generally uses either cellular data or Bluetooth. While Pawnec's software is ready to integrate any GPS location tracking device, the prevailing hardware technology still does not meet our minimum requirements for practical pet wear. These are:
- Power consumption
- Cellular/Mobile data usage
But we never stop innovating. Our estimate is we’re still a few years away from minimizing all four requirements in a hardware to be a practical daily pet wear. The benefits of existing GPS location tracking devices do not outweigh the high cost and discomfort of pets who will wear them on a day-to-day basis. On the other hand, location tracking via Bluetooth may be compact, but logic tells us any pet within Bluetooth range is not a “missing pet range”. Other Bluetooth-tracking devices only work because of a vast, largely covert tracking network. But that’s another topic on personal privacy.
How GPS Tracker Works
A GPS-tracking device will not work without a nearby cell tower, its own SIM card, and a subscription to a telecommunications network provider to transmit its location data, hence it consumes power and cellular/mobile data, and then that cellular tower sends the device’s location data to another connected device (GSM/LTE), that is you, the tracking pet owner.
A Bluetooth-tracking device on the other hand is not a GPS tracker strictly speaking. It will only work if there are nearby participating (with or without consent) Bluetooth-enabled smartphones to which the Bluetooth-tracking device can transmit its approximate distance. How that smartphone unwittingly sends approximated location data to your own smartphone is still contentiously undisclosed under the scrutiny of data privacy regulators.
How Apple AirTag Works
For those unfamiliar, AirTags aren’t GPS trackers and it doesn’t have their own internet connection. Instead, it sends out a Bluetooth signal that gets picked up by other Apple devices. Those devices then ping the “lost” AirTag’s location to Apple’s iCloud servers and let you see its last-known position on a map. Its tracking only works when there is a nearby (Bluetooth-range) Apple device to send its signal to.
Specifically, AirTags utilize ultrawideband technology offered via Apple’s U1 chip, which allows for Precision Finding. This feature uses a combination of Apple's ARKit software and the phone's camera, accelerometer, and gyroscope to guide users toward the precise location of their AirTag. Users can also expect to receive helpful notes, including how many feet away their AirTag is while approaching the lost item. While ultrawideband technology allows for the convenient transmission of ultra-precise, real-time location data, we are also now aware of how it can be leveraged with nefarious intent.
Interestingly, these reasons are why Apple never officially marketed or endorsed its use on toddlers and pets. It is only intended for inanimate objects.
Imagine you receive a ping to a specific location, you arrive 15 minutes later and your pet is gone and wandering somewhere else to find the way back home. You can expect to find your valuable things such as a bag or a key staying put in the exact same location 15 or so minutes later, but you can not expect the same for a dog who can walk an average of 1 kilometer every 15 minutes (1 mile every 25 minutes) in any other direction. You choose to follow the wrong or opposite direction and you're farther away from each other than you originally were.
Pawnec's Location Intelligence
Our expanded location intelligence has passive GPS tracking by logging in your pet’s ID scanning analytics. Notably, where Pawnec's location tracking differs, is its location history logs the GPS location, IP address, date, and time for proper cross-examination when investigating the whereabouts of your pet.
This is on top of the pinned frequently visited and trusted locations of your pet where a person who finds your pet can easily navigate the direction back to you or these trusted addresses. Our multiple layers of location intelligence comprise our multiple layers of connectivity for your pet’s multiple chances of reconnecting with you.
Pawnec is a missing pet recovery software system to help address the missing pet epidemic. An affordable technology designed specifically for pets that is indiscriminate to any breed or species.
Sometimes the best response to a complex problem is the simplest solution. Pawnec is not the only solution to the larger problem of missing and stray pets. But it’s the most accessible and practical technology available to all pet parents.
As a side note, some people argue that this will not work for cases of theft. What makes you think a thief who steals your dog or cat will happily keep the stolen pet's tracker around their neck? In fact, an unsuspecting thief who scans the pet's ID will unwittingly send their IP address back to you, an important clue to investigating cybercrime (IP addresses provide investigators a trail to discover and follow, which may lead to the person(s) responsible for the crime.) if you're willing to go to that extent. But aren't we pet parents willing to do the fullest extent for our furbabies?