Connected Objects
Where’s Nellie? This GPS locator mixes radios to pinpoint your pooch

It’s a common nightmare for dog owners: their beloved pet has run out of the house and they can’t find the pooch anywhere.

Where’s Nellie is a GPS tracking device designed to ease a dog owner’s mind if their pet runs off and can’t be found. The Nellie Beacon attaches securely to a dog’s collar and works in conjunction with an iOS and Android app. The beacon communicates up to six miles away with the included Nellie Base unit. If a dog is missing, the owner just has to press the locate button on the app and, in a few minutes, Where’s Nellie will pinpoint the location of the dog on the smartphone. It costs $179 and will ship in January. Its maker is hoping to raise $100,000 by May 16.

The device has promise despite coming along after several similar products, including Lucky Tag and WUF. However, Nellie seems to be superior to several rivals in a few ways. First, it makes use of several radio technologies. If the base unit is near the beacon, it uses Bluetooth LE technology. But if the dog is out of range, Semtech’s LoRa long-range wireless solution is used instead. If the pet owner wants to pinpoint exactly where the dog is, GPS is used.

Second, there are no monthly fees involved. Third, its batteries will last more than 365 days because the Beacon’s patent-pending technology uses low-power components and software, according to its Kickstarter campaign. That’s far more battery life than most rival products.

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