Here's a Dog Collar That Lets Humans Train Man's Best Friend From Anywhere
Let’s face it, owning a dog is a serious commitment. They constantly need our attention and care. And we want to know where they are and what they’re up to at all times. If Fido is gnawing on my slippers again…
Good news: Now you can keep an eye on your pup, and even bark commands to him from afar thanks to WÜF, a new, two-way communication “smart” dog collar. Insert sigh of relief.
The latest and most comprehensive in a growing breed of connected pet trackers, WÜF stands out from the pack because of one very smart feature -- two-way audio. Finally, a dog collar that lets you talk to -- and train and play with, well, virtually, at least -- your pup from anywhere, and to listen to him, too.
The mutual communication magic happens using a companion app and a microphone-speaker combo embedded in the rugged collar. You’ll receive alerts on a companion app from WÜF whenever your dog is, uh-oh, “barking a lot, crying, whining, growling or whimpering unexpectedly.” And, because it would be torture to listen to all that drooly doggy talk from far away without being able to respond, the app also lets you squawk back.
Just imagine the cute conversations you’ll have with Fido. “Hey, Buddy, I’ll be home soon. Be a good boy.” Wuff, sniffle, pant. Kinda sweet, actually. If WÜF were paired with a webcam -- sadly, it’s not -- we imagine the owner-pet verbal exchanges would be a little less endearing. “Hey, stop chewing on my shoes! Drop it! Bad dog! No peeing on the carpet!”
On a serious note, co-founder and CEO Sean Kelly created the waterproof/shockproof/bite-proof collar after he lost his dog Roxy. She ran off to chase a squirrel and was fatally struck by a car. That’s why he built in GPS tracking ability, though geolocation only scratches the surface of the various other cool tricks the collar pulls off.
Working with the app and equipped with a grip of high-tech parts (a microprocessor, an accelerometer, a lithium-polymer battery and Bluetooth, 2G and 3G cellular components), the collar monitors your dog’s overall health and activity levels, lets you remotely play with and train your dog using customizable programs and even helps you keep your dog within an invisible “geofence” perimeter around your yard.
Check out WÜF in action. Just try not to drool:
Don’t worry, there are no shocks involved with freaky WÜF’s “invisible leash” feature. It relies on nice, gentle two-way audio, collar vibration and an included “advanced clicker training” program. It warns your dog to “Stop!” “Listen!” and “Come on back to you to get a treat or affection.”
WÜF is on Kickstarter now, with just shy of a month to go. So far, the project is about a third of the way to its $50,000 goal. Gray or orange WÜF collars are available for pre-order for pledges of $99 and up, depending on the level of cush puppy perks included (WÜF logo-d tennis balls, T-shirts, etc.). Sounds like a barking good time.
Kim Lachance Shandrow is the former West Coast editor at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was a commerce columnist at Los Angeles CityBeat, a news producer at MSNBC and KNBC in Los Angeles and a frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times. She has also written for Government Technology magazine, LA Yoga magazine, the Lowell Sun newspaper, HealthCentral.com, PsychCentral.com and the former U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Coop. Follow her on Twitter at @Lashandrow. You can also follow her on Facebook here.