Santa Claus has¬†unexpectedly featured us in a newspaper article in the “Zofinger Tagblatt”.¬†Thank you for the tangerine and your kind words. That was a¬†very¬†nice surprise.
The article is also available online (only available in German): Zofinger Tagblatt
The production is going full blast. The electronics of the HomeStation have already been produced and are currently being built into the¬†cases. The production of¬†the¬†collar electronics will be completed in the next few days. Unfortunately, not all suppliers have been able to keep their delivery promise resulting in small delays. We¬†are doing everything possible¬†so that¬†the¬†shipping can take place in December.
Here are some pictures of the different parts that have already arrived:
We have been actively involved¬†ourselves¬†in the production. Among other things, we have¬†assembled¬†the radio antennas by hand. On the first day we were able to produce¬†around¬†450 pieces after several hours of work. After three more evenings we were happy to¬†have¬†finished¬†;).
Next week we will be¬†visiting¬†our¬†manufacturer¬†again and¬†help him in order to complete the production, do the¬†packing¬†and¬†finally send the petTracer Set’s to you.
Wishing¬†you all a good week.
Alan & Claudio
Yesterday we were on the Swiss national television in a programme called “Kassensturz”. Unfortunately it is only available in German but maybe you still like to watch. Basically it was a TV broadcast about testing cat food. Our petTracer GPS Cat collar innovation was featured in the supporting programme. We hope you enjoy it. You can watch it directly on the srf.ch website or click on the image below:
Furthermore, a small online story was published. This can also be viewed by clicking on the image below or directly on the srf.ch website.
We would like to thank Peter Basler and his team for their great effort and perseverance of creating this fantastic TV broadcast and to give us the opportunity to be part of it. Thank you very much!
In our previous update, we asked for participation in our market survey. We already have several 100 people who have filled in our short survey. That is fantastic! Since the survey is anonymous, we do not know who participated. Therefore, we would simply like to express a general huge thank you to all participants. And those who have not yet participated can still do so.
We wish everyone a nice day.
Alan & Claudio
It is already late October and time for another update. We’ll keep it short:
The production is coming along nicely. There are still many little things which need to be done and we are working very hard every day to complete them. We would like to thank everyone who contacted us and offered their help. We currently need help in two areas:
- recommendations for the petTracer to your friends and relatives
For marketing purposes we would be very grateful if you could take the time to complete our short survey.
Many thanks! Filling in the survey is of great help to us.
Alan & Claudio
It is done! We have received the sample parts and have already processed them into collars. We are really¬†happy! They look¬†beautiful¬†and the material¬†itself feels very pleasant.¬†At this point we would like to¬†give a big thank you to¬†our¬†tools¬†manufacturer. The tools for the collar¬†are very complex and¬†only minor corrections¬†need to be done.¬†Very well done! This, of course, means we should be able to stick to our schedule.
We will also increase the colour intensity in the soft component of the collar as it is slightly too transparent.¬†One of our test cats is¬†already¬†wearing¬†our¬†new collar and is testing¬†it¬†extensively.
The¬†HomeStation¬†(receiver and charger)¬†is also very nice. Now we can¬†soon¬†start¬†with the big production. An absolutely exciting phase! ūüôā
We were asked¬†by several cat holders¬†whether our collar also works well in¬†cornfields.¬†Especially in hot weather, many cats¬†go into cornfields searching for the¬†pleasant shadow¬†and hunting for¬†mice. We have taken this question¬†seriously¬†and fortunately found a corn field nearby¬†(not many are left). The test was very positive. Cornfields do not pose a challenge for our collar. The corn grows very straight into the sky and the farmer leaves about 40-50cm distance¬†in between. This¬†allows for¬†very good visibility to the satellites and the location of the cat or collar¬†itself is very accurate. Here are¬†the pictures of the tests.
It has to be noted that the farmers will¬†usually¬†not be happy for cat owners to wander about in their cornfields.
If someone wants to¬†have¬†further scenarios¬†tested or wants to find out if¬†the collar works in a certain place or environment¬†then please contact us. Maybe we have already tested this or would then¬†carry out the¬†appropriate tests.
We¬†hope¬†everyone¬†a good week.
Alan & Claudio
We’ll keep this update short as another one is on its way. We have some very good news!
The tools for mass production have now been created and we have already received the first pictures of the samples. The samples themselves are now on their way to us to Switzerland and upon receipt we will check them carefully to make sure that everything is perfect. We are back on schedule and there is nothing else foreseen that could lead to more delays.
We have also completed our new web portal in the meantime and have tested it internally. From this week on our testers will switch to our new web portal one by one and start to test it. At the same time we will be working on improving and optimizing it even further.
We have now created a factsheet which explains the product itself, its functionality and its most important features. It can also be downloaded from our online shop and forwarded to potential buyers: petTracer Factsheet.
In less than 3 months we will be delivering the first collars and we are really looking forward to it. We will be even more pleased when cat owners won’t have to be afraid anymore of losing their cats thanks to our collar.
We wish everyone a nice week.
Alan & Claudio
On 25.08.2017 the newspaper “Wohler Anzeiger” published an article about us. If you have not read it yet (available only in German) you can do so here: Project Update 2017.
Last Thursday (07.09.2017) we had a visit from Mr. Zumb√ľhl, a journalist from “ZT Medien”. I was asked to give a newspaper interview which was published on Saturday. Exposure like this is very valuable for us as a startup company and I would like to thank Mr. Zumb√ľhl. The interview and the subsequent photo session with Topolino and Wulfi were a lot of fun. Please click on the picture if you want to read the article (available only in German at the moment).
We are happy to answer some of the questions we have received over the past few weeks.
Is the petTracer set from the pilot series a fully functional product?Yes. The pilot series production is equivalent to the market product. The pilot series is used by the manufacturer to review the production steps and to optimize them as necessary. The pilot series is also used to set up and program the machinery.
How long does the battery last?
This is a very good question and a difficult one to answer. The operating time of one battery charge depends on many factors. For example, whether the cat is very active and how many satellites are nearby. We have carried out measurements resulting in 300 – 500 GPS positions. This is a multiple (about 10 times more) of what other types of similar GPS trackers on the market can do. And all this with a total weight of only 30g! Thus the petTracer GPS cat collar strap is also the lightest GPS cat collar ever made.
Is the GPS cat collar also available in other colors?
No. For the time being the collar is only available in anthracite. The adjustable straps will be available in approx. 7 different colors. They also serve the purpose of making the collars distinguishable.
If you have not ordered a GPS cat collar yet you still have the possibility to do so in our online shop: Online Shop.
Please spread the word. Every little helps and all kinds of recommendations are very valuable to us. Thank you very much.
Best wishes and we hope you all had a good start into the week.
Alan & Claudio
There was a big run for our pre sale. We would like to thank everyone very much for this and also for believing in us. The pilot series is almost sold out and only a few collars are left. So if anybody else wants to have one by this year, you should order one as soon as possible. We are of course grateful for any recommendations.
You can visit our shop here: online store
On Friday 25.08.2017, the newspaper “Wohler Anzeiger” published a nice article about us. At this point a big thank you to Sabrina Salm. She wrote the article and ensured that it was published. For startup companies such publications are a very big help.
To read the article, please click on the picture (the article is only available in German)
We started with the purchasing of electronics. Furthermore, we are well on schedule with the tool manufacturing. The concept and the drawings have been created, the details verified. The tools are now physically being made.
In order to increase the GPS accuracy, we have implemented a “plausibility check”. By means of a quality filter, we evaluate how exact a GPS position is and decide whether it should be displayed or not. The larger the circle, the less accurate the position. The evaluation has shown that we achieve very good results even in the forest. This is very pleasing. The largest circles and thus most inaccurate measurements the collar was predominantly in the houses.
We wish everyone a nice week.
Alan & Claudio
It is time for another monthly update.
Last month we were able to¬†give the go ahead for the tooling manufacturing after clarifying¬†the¬†final details. Our manufacturer¬†immediately began¬†with the¬†design¬†work and concept.¬†Once the concept validation is done, he will begin with the physical production of ¬†the tools. This will be ¬†in the middle of August.
The test production run will be finished around¬†mid¬†October and¬†is¬†then¬†validated by us.¬†Improvements¬†and final adjustments¬†will be made by the end of October.¬†The¬†pilot series is then carried out in¬†early November. If only a few improvements are necessary¬†the¬†production¬†will be finished earlier of course.
In order to¬†deliver¬†to¬†our¬†Indiegogo¬†customers before the end of the year, we¬†decided to go¬†for the more cost-intensive¬†option. The tools¬†itself¬†are¬†not produced in Switzerland and delivery¬†takes around¬†5 weeks. We will now¬†produce a batch¬†directly¬†on site and deliver¬†it¬†to Switzerland.¬†At the same time¬†the electronics¬†is¬†manufactured. We can¬†then¬†begin¬†assembly in November and immediately start with the delivery.
This is¬†not quite what we had hoped for time wise¬†but we were able to finally complete the¬†most important production steps.
July and August are¬†holiday¬†months and many of our testers are enjoying a well deserved break. However, we have already been able to test¬†for the past¬†few months¬†and have concluded that the electronics as well as the¬†collar¬†case and design¬†are fully functional.¬†Tests however,¬†will be¬†continued and the GPS¬†cat collars will¬†feed our servers with valuable data. None of our testers want to¬†return¬†their¬†collars¬†… and we are, of course, happy about it¬†ūüôā
Due to the countless purchase requests¬†over¬†the past few months we have¬†managed¬†to increase the¬†pilot¬†series¬†production¬†(from which all pre-orders of our¬†Indiegogo¬†campaign are¬†served). This gives us the possibility to consider further orders for the first delivery! Due to the limited quantity we will handle the additional pre-orders on a first come first serve basis.¬†Take advantage of this unique opportunity! As soon as the limited¬†total¬†number is reached, we CANNOT further increase production for this year. The next delivery will take place in 2018.
If you would like to participate in our pre sale please visit our shop here: Online Shop
Alan & Claudio
Here is a short and sweet update about the previous month.
We now have many testers who test the petTracer GPS collar on their cats. This is very exciting and generally speaking we can confirm that many cats have a very similar behavior. Thanks to the collars we were able to do some “cat stalking”. Here are some of the funny impressions we’ve managed to collect.
With these expressions on their faces one cannot but love cats, even if they themselves did not seem very pleased.
Analysing a cat’s territory
Positions are recorded over short or long periods of time, depending on the operating mode. This makes it possible to plot the terrotries of cats on a long-term display. Here we have an evaluation of Elvis as an example. It is interesting to see that many cats posses a natural instinct and roam their territories set by an inner clock. However, there are factors we have observed, that can affect this behaviour at various levels. Such observed factors are a new cat in the area, change of rhythm of dog handler (change of walking time), change of the weather (very hot, very cold). Extraordinary events such as tree cutting or construction work etc. or external feeding. If you continue to observe the cat, you can see that the cat’s rhythm resettles after some time.
We have now found a very capable toolmaker and we are in the process of clarifying the final details. In the July update we should finally be able to inform you about a possible delivery date. Now we are undertaking the final touches to the product¬† in order to make it market ready.
News from the neighbourhood
I noticed that our test cat Elvis very often roams around a kiwi plant in the neighbourhood. Coincidentally, we now also own a kiwi plant and have it on our terrace. Funnily enough, we now often find Topolino on the terrace by the plant. I found this somewhat curious and researched “cats” and “kiwi plants” on the Internet. It turns out that cats love kiwi plants¬† and get euphoric from the juice or fragrance. However, when I went back to the office, I was confronted with the following situation:
Instead of being hyperactive and euphoric, Topolino had dived into a deep slumber and I believe that not even 10 horses could have woken him up!
Thank you for reading.
Alan & Claudio
It is already the end of May and therefore time for a new project update. Since the collars are only partially visible in the published photos or not at all, we have made a short video of our most active test cat. Here he is wearing the petTracer GPS cat collar on top of a tick collar. Optically the light band is of course not ideal for a black cat but at least it is visible.
In the beginning we will only be able to produce the cat collar in one colour. After careful consideration, we decided to go with the color “anthracite”. The whole set looks very elegant in this colour. The extension bands will be available in different colours and create a beautiful contrast to the anthracite. Here is a small preview:
It is annoying but the tooling is taking longer than expected. Our manufacturer is not able to handle the complexity of the collar manufacturing tool as originally communicated. The delivery date itself is also very long. Therefore, we are currently looking at alternative providers and hope to start building the tools as soon as possible. This is the last module in line needed for production. Once we have a reliable tooling manufacturer we can then finally announce a delivery date.
Our Beta-Portal will be ready soon. New features will be added and the overall handling will be simplified for our test users. We will also be able to carry out stress tests and check the overall system for its robustness. Here is a 24 hour view from the territory of one of our test cat.
Once a week our test cats hold a meeting. The test results of the previous week are discussed as well as the goals for the coming week. There is also currently a debate about forming a test cat union. Above all, Wulfi, the oldest of our test cats, worries about his retirement. They have cut down his food by a 1/4 and the amount of attention he gets has drastically reduced since the offsprings’ arrival (two kittens). He has now been diagnosed with the infamous “mistress attention deficit”. At this point he would like to thank his employer, petTracer, for being allowed to continue this precious work for the company and to make a valuable contribution to the development of the GPS cat collar.
We wish you a very nice and sunny day.
Alan & Claudio