For pet owners who are tired of their cats bringing unwanted “gifts” into the house, a new device with artificial intelligence could be the solution. Cats are known for their hunting skills, often bringing home live or dead prey as a token of affection. While this is a natural behavior for cats, it can leave owners dealing with clutter and unwanted creatures in their homes.
To allow their cats the freedom to come and go, many pet owners install cat gates or gates. Some of these use Radio Frequency Identification (RDIF) technology to detect a microchip on the cat's collar or body, allowing only the authorized pet to enter. This helps keep out other animals such as stray cats or raccoons. However, this does not prevent the cat from bringing prey.
Enter ZeroMouse, a smart device that uses AI technology to detect if your cat is taking prey. The device, which recently surpassed its fundraising goal on Kickstarter, consists of an RFID pet door connected to a camera and speaker. The camera uses infrared light and night vision technology to take a photo of your cat as it approaches the door, day or night. An AI-based algorithm then analyzes the photo to determine if the cat is carrying prey.
If the cat is detected with a prey in its mouth, ZeroMouse emits an RDIF signal of an unrecognized cat, keeping the flap or door closed until the prey is left behind. Owners can choose to be notified of these events via the ZeroMouse app.
Unlike other similar technologies, ZeroMouse is a small device that works with most RDIF-enabled pet flaps or doors, saving pet owners the expense of a new installation. However, it requires an external power source and Wi-Fi access, as it constantly updates the AI-based algorithm with anonymous user data worldwide to improve its functionality.
The company plans to begin selling ZeroMouse through online retailers in the first half of 2024. This innovative device demonstrates how artificial intelligence can improve a pet owner's life by solving a common challenge. Not only does ZeroMouse teach your devices new ways to detect unwanted critters, it can also teach an “old” cat new tricks.
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