Pet tracking system Huan has expanded its product line with the release of Tiny Tags.The Westlake Village startup has developed what Chief Executive Gil Rom called the smallest smart tags on the market today.The .02-ounce Tiny Tags are attached to the collar of a cat or small dog and linked to an app on the owner’s phone through Bluetooth technology, Rom explained.
“It is designed to last a long time on a single watch-size battery,” he said in an interview with the Business Journal. “That is the reason we have been able to make them so small to fit onto cats and tiny dogs.” Unlike industry standard microchips, which are only effective after an animal has been captured and brought to a vet or shelter, Huan’s product alerts owners directly and in real time if their pet is missing.The company’s standard-sized classic and hanging tags could fit on a cat, but still they were not the right size that Rom wanted.“A lot of owners reached out to us after they used our classic tags and said, ‘My cat doesn’t like wearing a collar’ or ‘My cat doesn’t enjoy wearing that type of tag,’” he said.
As for the hanging tags, one problem that developed with cats is that when they went to drink from a water bowl, the tag would dip into the bowl as well, Rom added.
“We had all this interesting feedback and used it to engineer the Tiny Tags in a way that is more designed for cats,” Rom said.
The software development for the tags is done in Westlake Village, with hardware development in Santa Barbara and the manufacturing in China. Assembly, packing and shipping are also handled from Westlake Village.Competitors in the marketspace are focusing on big and bulky GPS receivers that are too big to fit on a dog under 20 pounds, or even under 30 pounds, and cats specifically, Rom explained.“We are fulfilling a need in the market for a product of those (smaller) physical dimensions,” Rom added.The cost of the classic, hanging and Tiny tags is $30. A portion of Huan’s profits supports partner animal rescue organizations.