"When something is important enough, you do it even when the odds are not in your favor."
We must agree Elon. The odds were never in our favor, but protecting the ones we love is important enough to risk everything! It has been a long journey, with more than one failure, to finally introduce the first working prototype of the iFIN™ GPS tracking system for dogs!
We had four primary goals in mind when setting out to make the iFIN™ GPS System.
- It had to be tough enough to hold up on the most active dog in the toughest environments.
- While the electronic system is sophisticated, the package had to be easy to use for the common dog owner.
- It must have common hardware to make it easy to take on and off the Shark Fin® Collar.
- The electronics had to be user friendly, as easy to use as a common cell phone app.
Now you might be thinking why not battery life in the top four goals? Or what about range? Or being waterproof? Or..... Yes, all of these things are important to us, but focusing on these would be fruitless if the system got broken, lost or failed in the first week because of the construction of the unit. That is why there are so many bad reviews on our competitors. They focused on the system, instead of first focusing on the system being durable and easy to use for the average active dog.
Most GPS systems on the market today have their electronics enclosed in a hollow plastic case. This is a good design for humans. But not for animals.
Animals will bite, chew and swallow things they get a hold of. If a dog would bite into one of these hollow cases, it may get shocked by the battery. Or worse, it breaks open the case and swallows the lithium battery. That could be fatal. What we did was develop a patent-pending method of encapsulation to prevent an incident like this. When our iFIN™ was given to dogs, they didn't seem to want to chew it, maybe they didn't like the taste. Also, this may have to do with the fact that it is solid, their teeth don't sink in. They do like to chew on plastic. Because the battery is completely incapsulated, if it were punctured, which is nearly impossible, it would not catch fire or shock the animal. If it could be swallowed, it is completely encapsulated by resin, therefore, wouldn't break down in the stomach. Bottom line, besides being virtually indestructible and waterproof, it is the safest way to incorporate electronic systems in the animal world. Not just for dogs, but for all animals!
The Kevlar layers perform several vital functions. If the system were to crack or break, the Kevlar holds it all together. It's like the film in your windshield that keeps the glass together if it breaks. It also extends out of the body of the resin to provide a method of attachment for hardware. This allows us to use snaps or other hardware to attach to collars, harnesses and other wearables. It can also be sewed or attached with adhesives.
Now let's take a look at how the Shark Fin® Collar and iFIN™ integrate. It's very simple, the iFIN™ snaps into the back of the collar! Snap in, snap out. The snaps on the collar itself are attached to the Kevlar backing on the leather. This Kevlar waterproofs the back of the collar and provides the best strength to secure the iFIN to it. Because the iFIN is under the collar, the iFIN™ is protected from rough play, getting knocked around or bitten by another dog. This is a dog's world. it's rough!
Through testing on various dogs, we found that they were completely comfortable with the iFIN™ snapped into the collar. The Shark Fin® by itself has been on dogs for several years now with positive results. The Shark Fin® has two d-rings. The one near the fin is for a leash attachment. When you are walking your dog, the fin stays on the side of its neck. If the dog pulls it doesn't put any pressure on the throat. When the dog is wearing the collar without being leashed, the fin stays on the side. The movement of the dog's shoulder against the fin keeps it in that position. That is something we discovered by accident!
So now that we have a working prototype, where do we go from here? For our business to proceed with full production and to sell the iFIN™ to the public we will need to start with a crowdfunding campaign. Sign-up for email notices and join us on our social media accounts to find out about the launch of the crowdfunding campaign. These are exciting times at Shark Fin® Gear Company!