New Tracking Device

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Remora Tracking is a group of five Phoenix-based entrepreneurs, and they are launching a $100,000 Kickstarter campaign to turn a working prototype tracking device into one available to the public.
Remora Tracking is a car key sized waterproof device that can clip on just about anything and provides real-time tracking through a cell phone. Remora Tracking co-founder Sean McManus will tell us more about the innovation.

TED SIMONS: Tonight's edition of Arizona Technology and Innovation looks at Remora, a prototype tracking device that's about the size of a car key and provides real-time GPS tracking through a cell phone. Here with more is Remora Tracking co-founder Sean McManus, and CEO and co-founder Nicole Zeno.
Good to have you both here. What is Remora?

SEAN MCMANUS: Well Remora is, as you said, a key-sized GPS tracking device that has built in cellular, which is different than everything else out there right now. Everything that's out there uses and relies on Bluetooth. You are limited in range to about 30-100 feet. The difference with Remora is we have cellular built into it. So think of this as a really tiny cellphone you that you're able to attach to your dog, your child, an athlete running a marathon--you're able to live-track that person without any limitations.

TED: That's interesting. I didn't realize that most of these things were Bluetooth.

NICOLE ZENO: Yeah, absolutely. Most things on the market use Bluetooth meaning you have to be connected to a phone and that limits the range. You know, I can find my dog within 30 feet, but when he goes outside of that realm is when I need him and I can't strap a cellphone to him. So that's why we developed this.

TED: We have some photos here of the actual device and how it is applied and everything. I would imagine everything from emergency alerts to finding folks and dogs and cats and everything, the whole nine yards.

SEAN: Yeah, we've built in a couple different algorithms. We have an impact sensor, and that's one of the things that separates us from other products that are on the market. So when you fall, let's say you are hiking Camelback and you happen to fall--it looks for movement, and it recognizes that accelerometer spike, so it recognizes the g force of a fall and then it looks for movement. If there is no movement beyond that and you have become unresponsive it will automatically send out your location to your emergency contacts.

TED: There she is, hiking on the trails. And again, others know and you know, where the heck you are.

NICOLE: Well absolutely. That is the biggest thing and we hear it every week here in Arizona. Hiker goes out, becomes unresponsive or whatever the case may be, and people can't find them. That was one thing that hit close to home for us and that is why we built some of these safety features into it.

TED: And there are temperature alerts in here as well?

SEAN: Correct. It has a thermometer, a magnetometer, an accelerometer, a gyroscope. All of these feature work together to try and give you the most amount of metrics, so that way the person who is tracking their child or pet knows where they're going, how fast they are going, are they in a car, are they walking… we wanted to give the most amount of metrics to the user so that way they could really hone in on where this person or pet is.

TED: And there is Fido there. This is, you know, microchipping animals is a big deal. But okay. So the dog here gets out of the yard and he is on the street doing whatever dogs do. You have your cellphone and your cellphone… it is on google maps? How does it work?

SEAN: It is. Another thing that we have built into the software is geofencing. So geofencing allows you to create this electronic fence on a Google map, and the second your device goes beyond that range it alerts your phone right away. So it'll say Fido is out, you open up your phone, and on a Google map you will be able to follow your dog where it is going.

TED: And you can follow the dog how far? Can they go to the next county? How far does it go?

NICOLE: He could go to China. You can literally follow him to China, and that is the great thing about it. Think about opening your phone and on navigation and seeing where you are going--it's the same thing. I can log onto the phone or computer and see where he is anywhere in the country.

TED: But you have to have the phone?

NICOLE: No, Fido doesn't have to have a phone. I don't have to have a phone. We have a web app and we have apps you can use on your phone so if you are on the go. We want you to be able to track from anywhere, anytime.

TED: Is it secure unless you want friends and neighbors to know absolutely where Fido is?

NICOLE: Absolutely. You have control over who sees it. You send out these links and you can revoke them at any time.

TED: Okay. So, what kind of cost are we looking at? Has this been released to the public yet?

SEAN: It has not. We are in the Kickstarter phase. We've had a great response. We have been live for about 48 hours and already raised $11,000 in the 48 hours. So we still have a long way to go to our $100,000 goal, and that will be used to finish the manufacturing, get the injection molding, and really bring this product to the market. We've already secured pet rescues that we're going to be donating these devices to to help minimize that uncontrolled pet population that's out there. We've also partnered with local running stores and bike shops.

We really want to get this out to the community as soon as possible. We are just finishing up our Kickstarter. It'll end, I believe, September 21st, and hopefully come to market release at CES in January.

TED: Interesting. And can you give us a thought of price range?

NICOLE: Absolutely. We are looking at right now it is going to cost about $79 for the device and then you will have a $10 a month charge. We felt your safety and loved one's safety shouldn't come at an expensive price tag, so we want a family of four and a dog to have one for about $50 a month. And I think that's pretty reasonable to help keep them safe.

TED: So say the Kickstarter campaign works and you get our $100,000--what kind of time table? It really depends on getting that money in there doesn't it?

NICOLE: Yeah, and the one thing I want to mention is if you back us on Kickstarter it is not a donation. You are prebuying the device and getting it at a cheaper price. You can get it for $50 or for $125 for the device and a yearlong subscription. We are looking to launch it in January at CES meaning you will get it before anyone else.

TED: Last question before we go: will these be made here?

SEAN: Yes.

TED: So the whole thing is based here and made here?

SEAN: Yes, we want it made in the United States. That is a huge pride for us, and I think it will resonate really well with everyone here, especially in Arizona.

TED: Thank you both for coming in. We appreciate it.

NICOLE: Thank you for having us.

TED: We'll start keeping tabs on you guys.

Sean McManus: Remora Tracking Co-Founder

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