An American firm hopes to help Lassie come home after developing mobile phones for pampered pets.
PetsCell said that it is planning take a bite out of the lucrative domestic pet market, worth a cool $34bn per year in the US alone, by selling mobile phones for cats and dogs.
The firm expects that owners who want to be in constant communication with their pets will snap up the pooch phones, which include an optional GPS chip and digital camera so that the animals can be tracked.
The 'houndsets' also have a 'call owner' button that can be used if the pet wanders off on an Incredible Journey.
"The ability to talk to your pet from a distance on the pet's own cellular phone is definitely novel, but I envision the PetsCell having search-and-rescue, military, guide-dog or even patient and elderly care applications to name a few," said PetsCell founder Cameron Robb.
The device can lock out all mobile phone numbers except the pet's owner's, so that misdialled numbers will not connect and confuse the animal. The mobile comes in a waterproof and shockproof casing in case the pet is too rough.
However, the RSPCA told vnunet.com that the idea may be barking up the wrong tree, pointing out that using subcutaneous microchips offers a better way of tracking pets.
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