Using technology to rescue pets and strays seems like a noble idea and people are taking initiatives to save animals and pets from life threatening situations. Municipal bodies also try to find stray animals in order to sterilize them and protect small children, old folks etc. from stray menace. Of course they don’t succeed much but who’s counting.
What is a QR code?
In short and simple terms, QR code is a barcode image but two dimensional (2D, square shaped) and it can hold more data.
It could be a name, phone number, a unique ID, URL, PDF, text, an image etc.
Short for Quick Response code, QR code is fast and accurate and readable even when slightly tempered unlike traditional barcodes.
Why a QR code tag for stray animals?
The main problem people face while rescuing a stray or someone else’s pet, your pets can also stray by the way, is that they don’t have access to any information related to the animal, except in some cases there is a dog collar with phone number on it under a cute name like Lola. Can this idea be used on a large scale? Having information, more than just a phone number? Can Lola have a tag that tells you more about her, than her name and her owner’s name, who might or might not be reachable when needed the most?
A QR Code based tag can be used for just this purpose. To tell people about Lola and others like her, about their names, addresses, care taker’s names and numbers, and their medical/ vaccination history.
In Mumbai, India, a person named Akshay Ridlan, an engineer and pet lover is using QR code to create such collar tags that can help people to keep track of their pets and even strays. People can scan the QR code on the collar and get information related to the animal and possibly help in some way.
QR code and RFID tags for Animal Tracking:
QR codes can be seen everywhere nowadays. From brick and mortar businesses to IT industry, education and healthcare, everyone is using QR code in some way or the other. Food stalls, retail stores, stationary shops, grocery shops, hospitals, schools and libraries, animal tracking, tool tracking, inventory control, the use of QR codes is numerous. QR codes can also be customized for various day to day needs.
Animal tracking using QR codes is an affordable option. People can use internet to generate and customize QR codes, print and attach the same to animals. That’s all.
RFID (radio frequency identification) is another technology, slightly advance than QR codes that can be used for animal tracking. With high read rate, high range and precision, RFID based tags are very efficient. Since RFID uses radio frequency signals to communicate between a RFID tag containing a microchip and a RFID reader, no direct line of sight is required and a UHF RFID reader can scan hundreds of RFID tags in a second.
RFID tags are temper proof and can be utilized in stables or ranches to track animals where lots of animals are left to graze on field ranging miles and miles. RFID based gate system can also be used for this purpose where you don’t have to manually scan or keep count of animals that turned in, in the evening, after grazing.
In comparison to RFID, QR code is quite easy to implement and very cost effective tool to track animals by traditional means like making contact with the person responsible using the phone number on the QR code tag. People and organizations that feed and rescue strays can benefit heavily from this AIDC (automatic identification and data capture) technology much like RFID.