For those of you who've suffered the stress of having a pet go missing, there's something here at CES that may well appeal. The Zoombak Pet Locator is essentially a GPS unit you strap to your dog's collar. The system will alert you by text message and email when your pet leaves a designated 'safe area', and gives you the location your happy hound has bounded into, all in real time. You can also log on to the Zoombak Web site and see where your pet is, on-demand.
While the primary purpose of the Pet Locator is an admirable one, the secondary uses are a little more light hearted. There's nothing stopping you hooking this to your cat and seeing where the little scamp trundles off to in the night. Sure, it's not got the visual wonder of the amazing Cat Cam -- something we sincerely hope makes its way to CES one year -- but it's certainly a great novelty.
The GPS unit is waterproof and will hook on to your pooch inside a secure little pouch. The battery will last for about five days on standby or for up to 150 on-demand location requests. It's pretty lightweight too, so it won't pull your dog's head down, making it look thoroughly miserable. No-one likes looking at a depressed dog.
The system will cost £99 when it's released in February this year, with a £9.99 monthly fee to cover all text messaging and email charges. You may consider this a little steep, and if you don't particularly love your dog it may just be cheaper to buy a fresh one. But any animal lover will appreciate, as we do, that simply replacing an animal is no good, and if your animal is as important to you as oxygen, it may well be a price you'd be prepared to pay.
We'll have a full paws-on report for you as soon as we can get one into our office and on to our animals. -Nate Lanxon