An American company has invented what it claims is the world’s first implantable GPS microchip for pets.
Escape Alert, based in Los Angeles, has filed international patents for the device, which alerts owners if their pet escapes and enables them to track the animal’s exact location. This is not possible with other microchips, which are passive until read by scanners.
The company says because the technology is permanently implanted in the animal’s body, there are none of the typical problems associated with bulky GPS collars that are too heavy for many pets.
It is also more reliable because it never needs recharging.
Escape Alert cofounder and chief executive officer Wayne Norris said: “This is a game changer and could put an end to lost pets once and for all.”
The chip will be self-powered by a piezo-electrical nanogenerator, which creates power from mechanical movement such as walking or moving your arms. Researchers have been able to self-power cardiac pacemakers, eliminating the need for surgery to replace the battery.
Mr Norris said: “We have been working on this GPS microchip for years, but the trick was how to power the battery of an implanted device.
“The technology just wasn’t there, until now. Piezo-electrical nanogerator technology is the wave of the future and may put an end to batteries as we know them. It’s the next big thing since the computer revolution.”