Cats are notorious for many things, with curiosity at the top of that list. They can and will pounce on small critters, sometimes with undesirable consequences. If that wasn’t bad enough, cats that have owners have a tendency to bring home the spoils of war, whether for themselves or as a gift to their humans. Either way, those unwanted and unmoving critters are sure to create unhealthy and unsavory circumstances at home, often discovered only after the fact. At CES 2024, a rather curious solution is being presented, utilizing those hot AI powers to stop your cat from entering your abode until they finally let go of their lifeless package.
Flappie wouldn’t be the first smart pet door to grace the market, but it is probably the first to be so laser-focused on a very specific use case. The fact that it needs to only pay attention to cats and a very specific scenario means its designers and developers can also pour resources only into things that matter. In this case, that means it’s only concerned about recognizing cats and whether they have prey in their mouths before entering your house.
Like other smart doors, Flappie has sensors, specifically a camera, facing the outside world. When your cat approaches, it uses AI to identify whether it’s bringing home prey or just some other inanimate object. If it indeed carrying some previously living thing, the smart door will won’t open up and prevent your cat from entering. Only when the cat has figured out that it can’t go in without dropping its payload first will the AI door finally let it have access and resume living in the safety and comfort of its indoor abode.
The idea for this kind of specialized security system is to hopefully train the cat to not bring in dead things (or other things) and drop them off at the door before coming in. It’s not a foolproof method, but one that the designers believe is more effective than manually monitoring the cat. They are confident that the AI has a 90% accuracy in identifying dead prey like mice, birds, and even snakes, and it will only get better as it learns over time.
Flappie also has other functions besides training your cat to be respectful when coming back home. Those same cameras can be used to capture your feline’s precious moments and even share them on social media. You could control it remotely via an app, but there are also manual controls in case things get a little out of hand. The smart door can also be connected to your cat’s chip, presuming it has one, so that it will only let your own cat in and keep curious strangers out.