GPS only works when your Pod has a clear view of the sky and we know your pets can wander into hard-to-find spot! So, we’ve fitted Pod with a Wi-Fi chip which allows it to gather data about Wi-Fi hotspots that are in range as a backup method of location. Every Pod device has a unique 12 digit number written in hexadecimal called a MAC address e.g. A5:98:ED:7B:43:0F. This is different to the name of the Wi-Fi or SSID which might be something like “Dave’s Internet”. Pod will find up to 6 hotspots with the strongest signals and send them up to the servers for processing. The servers then pass this information to a 3rd party service which has a database containing the locations of over 75 million hotspots around the world. It then responds with a location (latitude, longitude and accuracy). Wi-Fi is fast at locating but can have a position inaccuracy up to 25meters (60 feet).
The database of 75 million hotspots has been created over the last few years through crowdsourcing. It’s actually been put together from data being sent from smartphones all over the world all the time. Next time you’re walking past someone’s house, your phone might just be sending information about the location of their Wi-Fi!
There is a limitation on this information that is put in place for security purposes, and that is, that you must provide at least 2 MAC addresses to get a location response. Otherwise, you would be able to track people just by the MAC address of their home router! This doesn’t usually affect people that live in built up areas as there are many hotspots around, but if you live in a rural area, or on a large piece of land, your Pod, might only be able to pick up the MAC address of one, your Home Wi-Fi. This is why we allow you to identify your Home Wi-Fi to your Pod by Connecting to Home Wi-Fi.
Currently, we assume that when your Pod is in range of your Home Wi-Fi that it must be at home and we show this by placing your pet’s location where you have positioned the Home Icon when setting your home location.
Please keep in mind the Pod will always prioritize a more accurate GPS location over a crowdsourced Wi-Fi location if it is available! It will also prioritize your Home WiFi router over any other location method if your Pod detects your pet at home. This is to avoid inaccurate locations indoors.