TORONTO — An Australian company has started a crowdsourcing campaign to develop a new high-tech collar that promises to help track your dog’s every move, calories consumed and temperature.
Buddy, the LED, GPS, Bluetooth dog collar isn’t on the market yet, but it plans to change the way people care for their pooch.
“Your life’s busy, it’s tough to be there for them all the time,” says Chris Forcucci of Squeaker, the Australian company behind the collar.
“They’re alone all day, and we get home late, usually after dark. And then they still need to have their daily exercise, which got us thinking: what if someone could be there to keep an eye on them?”
The collar’s features list is long: with LED lighting technology for safety at night, real-time GPS tracking and a “geofence” function which will send an alert if your dog roams outside a certain area.
The device will also indicate how many minutes your pet has slept, how many steps it has taken and calories burned. The company also claims it will track how much your dog has eaten, and calculate calories consumed.
Weight management for pets is a major concern, as highlighted by multiple reports by the Canadian Veterinarian Medical Association.
“Obese pets are at risk of developing serious health issues, such as heart disease, diabetes, gastrointestinal problems, high blood pressure and arthritis,” states a report by the association.
Approximately 35 per cent of Canadian household have a dog, and about 55 per cent of dogs in Canada are not getting enough exercise. In the United States, 53 per cent of dogs were estimated to be overweight in 2014.
Buddy isn’t the first smart device, for dogs: FitBark tracks your dog’s activity, WÜF has two-way audio allowing you to communicate with your pets when you’re not home among other features, and numerous GPS devices are on the market.
Squeaker plans to sell the device for roughly $240 CAD, hinging on the success of the Kickstarter campaign. So far the crowdsourcing page has collected more than two-thirds of its goal of $358,000 CAD.
“Buddy was born out of necessity, too many times dogs are mistreated, abandoned, run over or stolen,” says the Kickstarter page. “If our product saves just one dog’s life or reunites one owner with their dog then our mission is complete and we can call this project a success.”
Nearly 1,000 people have already contributed to the campaign. The comments section suggests people want to get their hands on the Buddy collar, even if it takes a second funding attempt.
“If you do not get funded this time, please relaunch,” urges one post.
“If the goal is not reached, PLEASE RELAUNCH! I will pledge for 2 Buddy collars instead of just the one I did pledge for. I would pledge for a second one right now if I could pledge at the same level as the first one!” says another.
“I hope this makes the funding. This is an awesome idea and should be a standard for everyone to keep up with their pets. Nice work guys. When this makes it to market, it will be big. I have no doubt. Good luck!”
The campaign for Buddy ends Wednesday. There’s no word on what the company plans to do if the goal is not reached.