New tech collection assistance keep Fido fit


Whistle co-founder and CEO Ben Jacobs and beta tester Duke, who is displaying a company's new pet activity tracker.

(CNN) — What is your dog doing right now? Is he holding a nap? Furiously digging a hole in your garden? Watching “Ellen” and roaming on a chuck pillow?

For people with jobs divided from home, 8 hours can seem like a prolonged time to be distant from a dear pet. Now, a new stand of wearable trackers can give extraordinary or endangered owners real-time information about what their dog is doing.

That information can afterwards be collected over time to learn some-more about a pet’s habits and even mark early signs of health troubles that humans competence miss.

San Francisco association Whistle launched a initial product on Wednesday: a $100 wearable activity tracker that attaches to a dog’s collar.

The trackers are small, brushed-metallic discs, only light adequate for any dog over 7 pounds to omit while he goes about common daytime activities, blissfully unknowingly he’s vital in a notice state.

“We would adore to be means to assistance these dogs live longer lives,” pronounced Whistle co-founder and CEO Ben Jacobs. “The No. 1 indicator of a dog’s health is a possess activity compared to a bottom line.”

The tracker uses an accelerometer to establish if a dog is resting, personification or sleeping. That information is synced regulating Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, and a owners can see it all on a smartphone app.

It’s not always apparent when a pet is sick, and a initial signs competence be pointed changes in appetite or behavior. The app will guard for changes and also make light suggestions, such as observant it’s time for a walk.

“We’ll give witty hints, yet we never wish to decider a pet parent, only like we never wish to decider a child’s parent,” Jacobs said.

If they take off, pet trackers competence be means make a hole in a problem of pet obesity. More than half of dogs and cats in a United States reportedly are overweight.

The information isn’t only for a owners. The Whistle app has a perspective that shows patterns over time that vets can use to assistance diagnose dogs. The information is also anonymized (dogs need their privacy, too) and collected in an total database common with veterinary researchers during institutions such as a University of Pennsylvania.

Whistle already has 20 employees and has lifted $6 million in appropriation from Silicon Valley try collateral firms for a pet tech.

That series competence seem intolerable until we cruise that pets are large income in a United States, where there are somewhat some-more dogs than children. People reportedly spent some-more than $50 billion on their pets in 2012, including purchasing animals, feeding them, and profitable for veterinary caring and pet accessories.

An estimated $370 million was spent only on Halloween costumes for pets.

Silicon Valley and entrepreneurs have taken notice and are churning out dog and cat products, many personification off existent successful startups for humans.

On Kickstarter, a association called FitBark is lifting income for a identical product that will guard activity levels, yet it appears reduction desirous with a data, storing it for 3 weeks. Its take on a FitBit for dogs will be in a figure of a bone and also cost about $100.

Dogtek creates Eyenimal, a GoPro-esque wearable camera for cats and dogs that record their adventures, and GPS collars such as SpotLight can act as a “Find my iPhone” for mislaid dogs.

BarkBox is a monthly subscription use in a suggestion of BirchBox that delivers a package of dog-related equipment such as treats and toys for $19 to $29 a month.

And, of course, there is an Airbnb for pets. DogVaycay connects dog owners with internal dog sitters as an choice to withdrawal pets in a cage when they travel.

The numbers advise people who adore their pets and consider of them as members of a family won’t demur to spend money on a subsequent call of pet-friendly tech, generally if it can assistance keep their best friends healthy and happy.


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