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Keeping Homes Safe and Pets Happy with Microchip Pet Doors

Xively Connected Product Management
Improved customer support
Xively IOT Rescources
Increased product customization
Xively Internet of Things Platform Graphic
Rapid market deployment
Xively Internet of Things Resources
Seamless system integration
Revolutionizing Pet Care with the IoT

SureFlap microchip and pet doors & feeders unlock for your pet's microchip to keep their home safe and their food secure.

The Challenge

In 2008, SureFlap founder Dr. Nick Hill needed a way to keep neighborhood cats out of his home but let his own cat come and go freely and securely. Like many outdoor cats, his pet did not wear a collar but was microchipped. This gave Dr. Hill the idea of using his cat’s unique RFID chip as an electronic door key to get through the cat flap door and into the house without letting intruders in. But this was just the beginning. SureFlap also began offering in 2014 a pet feeder that uses the same RFID detection technology to monitor a pet’s diet.

As SureFlap expanded its pet product lines, it realized that customers wanted better insight into their pets’ lives. With more families working longer hours and being away from the house, many pet owners needed a way to remotely check in on their furry friends. SureFlap decidedit was time to Internet-enable their products, and create an app allowing pet owners get real-time insights such as come and go times, when they ate, and if they were home safe.

The problem was that SureFlap’s developers were not experts in the Internet of Things (IoT). They tried HTTP polling as a logical first step, but despite it being operational it was not cost-effective and would require SureFlap’s customers to pay subscription fee. Realizing this was the wrong business model for their product, SureFlap required a service with fast response but low cost of operation in order to keep their service free to its customers.

The Solution

After building an HTTP polling infrastructure that was more suited for traditional client/server model web applications, SureFlap began looking for IoT platforms that could accomplish their requirement of fast, secure, and cheap connectivity. Xively was a top choice for executing on SureFlap’s connected pet product vision.

SureFlap worked directly with Xively Professional Services to leverage Xively’s award-winning platform to transition its messaging broker from HTTP polling to MQTT. This switch instantly reduced SureFlap’s high bandwidth costs, and gave them access to drastically more robust object directory service which instantly handled other essential connected product management issues.

sureflap-cat-door-app

Connecting SureFlap’s microchip pet door with the customer’s app is a simple process thanks to Xively’s robust IoT platform service.

"Our technical team working with Xively’s pro services team has worked extremely well. Our engineers felt very well supported throughout the entire process. The result is that SureFlap has a lot of confidence that we are based on the right platform with Xively."

Nick Hill, CEO, SureFlap

Key Takeaway

SureFlap worked directly with Xively Professional Services to leverage Xively’s award-winning platform to transition its messaging broker from HTTP polling to MQTT. This switch instantly reduced SureFlap’s high bandwidth costs, and gave them access to drastically more robust object directory service which instantly handled other essential connected product management issues.

Case Study Results

Xively Connected Product Management
Improved customer support

Xively's platform enables constant control between the customer's app and SureFlap's microchip pet door. This level of reliable two-way communication diferentiates Xively from its competitors and creates an unprecendented IoT consumer experience.

Xively IOT Rescources
Increased product customization

Xively's platform gives SureFlap the freedom to tailor access for specific people and animals needing access to the pet flap. Owners can add pets to the system, grant temporary permission to pet sitters and door repair technicians. 

Xively Internet of Things Platform Graphic
Rapid market deployment

The ability to quickly and securely implement an IoT platform is enables success in the market. Xively's simple-to-use MQTT messaging broker and RESTful APIs allows SureFlap to focus on developing their product instead of trying to build a  messaging service from the ground up.

Xively Internet of Things Resources
Seamless system integration

With Xively’s APIs, SureFlap customers grant product access to other end users as well as permit better integration capability with its existing CRM, ERP or analytics business systems. Specific insight is generated for each department reagrding customer use while still allowing use of current systems.