Pet owners know the struggle of an indecisive pet. You let them out, they want back in; as soon as they’re inside, they want back out. Whichever side of the door they’re on seems to be the wrong one, and many owners have installed—or at least considered installing—a pet door to simplify some of the hassle. But there are also a few concerns people have about traditional swinging pet doors that make them hesitant—the main one being safety. Anything the same size or smaller than the door can sneak in, including pests like raccoons. Luckily, designers have developed Petvation—a safer, smarter alternative to traditional pet doors. This ingenious entryway uses facial recognition technology to make sure your pet, and only your pet, can use the tiny door.
So, how does it work? An array of infrared cameras on either side of the door create a 120-degree field of view, and IR illumination identifies your pet based on its appearance. Unlike with the Face ID feature on our phones, pets fortunately won’t have be trained to look directly into the camera to be recognized and allowed access. Instead, machine learning allows the system to recognize familiar faces, and sensors react to your pet waiting at the door, wanting to go in or out. The door’s design also places your pet’s safety as a top priority: motion sensors, along with a downward-facing camera, ensures that the door doesn’t slide closed until the animal is completely through, so that no paws or tails get caught. The door then locks until it recognizes your pet wanting to go through again.
The AI facial recognition algorithm also comes pre-trained to recognize certain animals that you’d probably prefer to keep out of your house—like raccoons, squirrels, skunks, and snakes. If it spots one of these approaching the door, it will send an alert to an app on your phone so you can be notified in real-time. The app also allows you to open and close the door from wherever you are. If you don’t want your pets going out, you can also turn the door off completely. The whole system is powered by a wall plug, and is offline for your privacy—there’s no need to connect it to the internet or upload any data.
“Techs in pet-oriented appliances remain insufficient for the needs of the little furry cuties,” explains the pet-loving team on their Kickstarter page. “With more than 10 years of experience in the home appliance and AI industry, our mission is to open the door for the smart pet appliance world, making you and your beloved pet have a better life.”
If you’re interested in this innovative product, Petvation has launched a Kickstarter campaign. As of writing, they have surpassed their crowdfunding goal of $10,000 by more than $75,000, with less than two days left of the campaign. Mass production is scheduled to begin in August 2022. To learn even more about Petvation, you can visit the company’s website.