Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Flappie is a cat flap built to prevent unwanted gifts

Parents of cats can temporarily be parents of dead mice, too, but a new type of smart home accessory could fix that.

CES is home to lots of different gadgets, and often it’s the ones we didn’t expect that surprise and delight us the most. That could be an indoor smoker for great ribs without the BBQ, or it could be a gadget coming out of Switzerland that aims to help owners and parents of cats, whatever you happen to call yourself.

The gadget is called “Flappie”, and it’s a smart home device made for your cat, or more specifically made to prevent your cats from bringing a “gift” home.

When cats want to be nice to their owners, they can reward them with a cuddle, a purr, a scratch and so on, but more often than not, it’s with a dead animal. This writer has woken up with half a lorikeet in his bed once before, and mice were normally found, as well.

To fix this, Denis and Oliver Wilder went to work to come up with a solution, building it using a cat door, a camera, and AI, this year’s tech trend likely to be in everything.

Now found in pet doors as well, Flappie uses AI and a camera to understand when an animal is carrying prey, retraining its algorithm over time and improving the model so that the cat flap opens when a cat isn’t holding a dead animal, but remains shut when it is. Unwanted gifts become a thing of the past, and Flappie’s app can provide analytics on the comings and goings of a cat, complete with imagery and videos from the door.

It’s a clever idea and one that looks set for availability later in the year, with Switzerland, Germany, and Austria first on the list with the US to follow, though Flappie told Pickr that it is “considering maybe moving to Australia sooner than to some of the other markets”.

Here’s hoping that’s soon, because if you’re an owner of an outdoor cat, there’s a good chance you think a fix can’t come soon enough.

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