If you’ve ever owned a pet or spent time with a pet owner, you’ve probably seen how strong the bond is between “parent” and “child”. Although humans can’t understand barking, a new startup, Inupathy is creating a dog collar designed to provide better insights into a pet’s mood.
According to the product website, the collar has built-in sensors to capture heartbeat information, then the software within the collar uses an algorithm to determine the pet’s current mode based on that cardiovascular data. Once the data is processed, LED bulbs in the collar change color to indicate emotional and psychological state.
At the moment, the Inupathy only provides high level insights into a select set of emotions: happiness, excitement, concentration, and relaxation. While the collar changes color, there’s not too much in the way of emotional “analysis”. According to the Inupathy website, their heart rate algorithm is patent pending.
As with many other smart devices, the Inupathy has a companion smartphone app that captures emotional/physical details in real-time, allegedly allowing user to spot health complications. The app also allows users to track “average happiness over time” (daily, weekly and monthly analysis), receive an “excitement” and “fun” score from 0 to 100, get suggestions on games to play with their pet (hide and seek, fetch, agility training, treasure hunting), and also connect with other pet owners using the product .
As of writing, the Inupathy Indiegogo campaign has raised just over $9,000 (of their $30,000 goal) from around 70 backers. The early backer pricing was $149 and the listed retail price is $249.
Although the Inupathy could potentially be a helpful device, the company cites little science to support the technology; the website even mentions they’ve only tested the collar on 30 dogs.
If you’re looking for something built on a seemingly stronger foundation, you could look into the Voyce collar which is essentially a FitBit for dogs. Created by biomedical engineers and veterinary experts at Cornell University, the wearable uses patented technology to measure resting heart rate, respiratory rate, activity intensity, calories burned, distance traveled, and quality of rest.
The Voyce also features a cloud based portal where the pet owner and even chosen veterinary experts and access essential information in real-time to make informed medical decisions.
If you don’t have the budget for the Inupathy or Voyce, you could also just use the scientifically proven method of reading emotions based on the way a dog wags its tail.
Charles Costa is a marketing specialist helping technology companies grow, one word at a time. You can learn more at CharlesCosta.net