For many of us, dogs are part of our families and we want to keep them safe and healthy as we would any other family member. That's the aim of Dogtelligent's new Connected Collar. The collar is designed to help individuals train and track their dog, as well as manage its activity and health.
There are already dog collars on the market that provide some of the functionality that the Connected Collar offers. The FitBark, for example, uses motion sensors to track a dog's activity, whilst the PetPace monitors canine health, with metrics including body temperature, pulse, respiratory rate, activity level, calories burned and body position.
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The Connected Collar, meanwhile, aims to provide a number of useful functions in one. Coupled with accompanying Dogtelligent mobile mobile and computer apps, the device can be used to carry out training exercises with the user's dog, show its location, send alerts if it wanders out of a predefined area, and keep a record of how much exercise it's getting as compared to what's required.
In order to provide these functionalities, the Connected Collar packs a variety of technology. Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and cellular are all employed to connect with other devices. They are also all used to communicate a dog's location from the in-built GPS tracker to the Dogtelligent apps should he or she go walkabout.
There are LEDs integrated into the collar so that it's easy to spot your dog in the dark, and two-way communication is provided by a built-in microphone and micro-speakers. This allows users to issue commands to their pet from afar and hear what he or she is up to if out of sight or lost. The app also includes pre-programmed commands like "sit," "stay" and "down."
Built-in vibration signaling and an ultrasonic whistle are two other means of providing commands to the user's dog. The vibration feature can be used to simulate a virtual leash tug, whilst the ultrasonic whistle can be used to deter excessive barking.
A three-axis accelerometer is used to track the amount of running, playing, resting and walking a user's dog is doing, and this can easily be shared or shown to a vet for reference. Other veterinary records can also be stored and shared via the app, with reminders able to be set for vaccinations, medications and other pet maintenance.
The Connected Collar is available in small, medium and large sizes, each being adjustable. Dogtelligent says it is designed to be waterproof, shockproof and rugged, as is necessitated by the typical dog, and has a battery life up to 14 days.
An Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign is underway to bring the Connected Collar to market. At the time of writing, it's possible for individuals who pledge from US$80 to receive a Connected Collar, assuming all goes to plan with the campaign and roll-out. Manufacturing is due to begin in June, with an expected delivery date of August for campaign backers.
Update: On August 8 2016, the team at DogTelligent announced it is shutting down. Although it comfortably reached its funding goal on IndieGogo, the company says it couldn't raise the capital needed to finalize development and commercialize the Connected Collar. It's unclear how much of their pledges backers will get back, but the company says any remaining cash will issued pro rata payments in the coming months.