I’m Kim Freeman, and you’re tuned in to The Animal Innovations Show. Chris:
That is a great introduction, Kim. So, thanks for coming on. Why don’t you tell us who you are, and how you’re innovating and helping animals. Kimberley:
I am a ‘Lost Cat Finder,’ and I have found a lot of cats, whose owners then want to know: “What do we do, so that we don’t lose our cat, again?” Chris:
Interesting. So, tell us more. Kimberley:
One of the first options I came up with was a tracking tag. But the GPS for cats is still so big, and bulky.
And of course, GPS stands for Global Positioning Satellite. And satellites can’t see cats that are under cars and under buildings.
After a lot of research, I started towards radiofrequency. Because that will even find a cat that’s down a storm drain.
But then, Apple came out with the AirTag, which kind of is like a whole new category. Anybody with an iPhone is like a cell tower. Chris:
So, now what do you sell related to the Apple Air Tags on? Kimberley:
I sell collars that you can put them into, or I have a little dangle thing that you can clip to the collar that’s glow in the dark. Chris:
Oh, nice. A glow-in-the-dark case for the AirTag. Very cool.
So, then they’re just using the Apple AirTag. But like you said, you’ve got the accessory now for the cat. So, now, I can see where my cat last checked in if you will, how close they got to somebody’s phone? Kimberley:
Right. Exactly. Chris:
You’ve obviously got those, and those are relatively new. But you’ve also got a camera. So, how does the camera work for the cat? Kimberley:
The camera is basically like a little miniature golf ball, and you put it on the collar. So, this method holds it still. Although the cat’s moving, the camera stays still.
And then this pivots – since all cats have different postures, you can pivot the camera so that it’s looking at the right angle. And then it’s got motion detection because you know they sleep so much. You don’t really want to record that. Chris:
How long does it last? Like, how much footage can it take? How long does the battery last? Kimberley:
Well, part of the reason it’s so light is it’s only 3 ounces. It’s got to have a small battery.
So, if you put it on motion detection, that saves battery. And it’ll last probably an hour, an hour and a half in short clips. If you got it running 100% straight all the time, it’s only going to last about an hour. Kimberley:
So, now what’s the primary use for this? Is it for people that let their cats go outside, or do you put it on an indoor cat, too? Kimberley:
Well, I invented it for Henry. I have a search cat who goes with me when I’m looking for a lost cat.
He’s tracking the scent, and I needed a camera on him because he was going under bushes. He was going into dark places, small spaces I couldn’t get into. So, I needed to see what he was seeing. The camera would let me look and see.
So, that’s the original reason. But now, you know, I have found it’s very useful to figure out cats have routines. And if you let your cat out, you get to know their routine so that if they do go missing or get stuck or trapped, you know, in the neighbor’s garage, you know exactly which route to check. Chris:
You’ve thought it ahead because there’s, like, a night version, right. So, I can see at night where they’re going. Kimberley:
Yeah, it has night vision. It has these little lamps around the perimeter here are night visions. So, people can’t see it with the naked eye, but it picks up 5 ft ahead of the cat. Chris:
So, you said you’ve only really been selling this for a few months now. I mean, how long has this been in different iterations, different versions, as you’ve been figuring out how this is going to work? Kimberley:
I’ve been working on this for 3 years, not just the camera, but also a collar that lights up. My goal is a collar that lights up, so you can see where they are in the dark. That also tracks them and has a collar camera. And scares birds so the cat can’t ambush the birds. Chris:
Now, what’s your background, Kim? I mean, how did you get into this? Are you a product designer by background? Kimberley:
I’ve always been kind of an inventor, you know, I love figuring out, “Oh, I wish this existed.” And then, you know, an hour later on Amazon, and you’re searching, and it doesn’t exist.
But, yeah, before this, I did 10 years of just lost cat search and rescue. Before that, I worked in New York at an ad agency. Chris:
Interesting. So, ad agency to lost cat finder, to now having built the world’s first camera for cats. Kimberley:
We also have the only light-up breakaway collar. Most of the light-up collars are made for dogs, and people buy them for cats, but they’re not safe. They don’t break away. Chris:
Well, it sounds like you’re solving all sorts of problems for cats. Kimberley:
I’m trying. I mean, cat collars haven’t changed in, what, since the 50s? Same old thing. They added a bell. And that’s about the only innovation I’ve seen. Chris:
So, now what’s next for you? I know you said you want to incorporate more features into it, scare the birds away, or they’d be able to do a kind of real-time visualization. I mean, is that you’re focused now for the next six or eight months? Kimberley:
Yeah, what I want to do is incorporate the AirTag, the tracking aspect, with a camera so that you can see on your phone what they’re doing.
The thing is, you’ve got to balance the weight, but they’re heavier than the camera. Actually, it looks little, but it weighs more than the camera. I’m gonna have to balance. You want the AirTag up here so that it can be picked up. If it’s under their chin, the reception is not good. So, that probably means I’m gonna have to weigh the camera.
We also have this reversible option. This is for in the daytime. This hologram is what scares the birds. This is what crop owners do, you know, when people farmers have crops, they don’t want the birds to eat. They hang hologram strips in the trees. We got the hologram on one side for daytime, and then you flip it over at night and it’s the light. Chris:
I think that’s really clever that you thought about that. I mean, how to protect the birds, right, because, you know, you might as well. If you’re going to put a collar on the cat and let them outside, you know what they’re doing. They get bored, and there’s a bird. Let me go track that bird down.
So, I love the fact that you’re not only keeping track of where the cat is, but you’re also helping the other furry friends – or the other feathery friends, I should say – to stay out of harm’s way.
So, where can people go if they’re interested in buying one of these, or at least learning more about how they work? Where can they go? Kimberley:
My website is GLOWTRACKCOLLARS.COM, and that’s where all of these various versions are available. Chris:
Well, this is super cool, Kim. I’m really excited to see what you’ve developed and more importantly, where you’re taking it. So, is there anything else you wanted to mention before we wrap things up today? Kimberley:
If someone happens to hear about a lost cat, you know that is my expertise.
For 10 years, I’ve done nothing but recover a lost cat, so I know a lot about it. I can help people get cats found. Chris:
So, where can people go if they’ve lost their cats? Where can they go? Kimberley:
Yeah, so, go to LOSTCATFINDER.COM because you have a ton of experience in this. You actually literally wrote the book on how to find your lost cat. Kimberley:
Yeah, that’s true. Chris:
Well, very cool. Well, Kim, I’m really excited you came on. I really appreciate you sharing everything with people. And hopefully, people will go check it out, because I think it’s really unique and definitely innovative.
And we’ll just remind our viewers, some listeners before we wrap up, if you’ve got an idea for an innovative product like Kim did, or you know somebody that does, and I should have them on the show, just go to INNOVATIONS.SHOW, and let me know about it. We’ll get them on and talk with them.
So, thanks again Kim, for coming on. It was really great to talk to you. Kimberley:
You’re welcome. It was a pleasure.
You’re a great interviewer, Chris. Chris: