LONDON – Fitness-tracking devices by companies including Fitbit, Nike and Jawbone are being used by a growing number of humans. Now their dogs can get in on the action too with a device called FitBark.
Pitched as “the world’s tiniest wireless activity tracker for dogs”, FitBark is a tiny device designed to be attached to a dog’s collar, tracking their activity throughout the day, and plotting the results as graphs in a companion smartphone app.
Based on breed, size and age, FitBark will set a daily activity goal for a dog that is “equivalent to approximately one hour of moderately intense physical activity, and the rest of the day spent at a lower energy level”.
The New York-based startup behind it is trying to raise US$35,000 (S$44,000) on crowdfunding website Kickstarter for the first run of devices, and already has more than US$30,000 of pledges after the first day of its campaign.
“FitBark combines our love for dogs, tech and beautiful design into a product that helps humans better understand dogs and give them back the joy that they provide to us,” claims the company’s Kickstarter listing.
The device weighs less than 10g, is rugged and water-resistant, and promises up to 10 days of tracking from its Lithium-ion battery before needing to be recharged. The app that goes with it will be available for iPhone and Android smartphones, with data transferred between the devices using Bluetooth technology.
FitBark is selling its first 250 devices for US$59 through Kickstarter, although people can pay US$109 for a FitBark plus a Base Station for their home, to transmit data to their smartphone when they’re not within Bluetooth range of their pet.
FitBark has been in development for 18 months, and this is the startup’s second attempt at crowdfunding the product. The first attempt was cancelled in May this year after raising just over $52k of its $100k goal.
“We received tons of feedback on the product, learned about pricing and forged a few great supplier relationships that allowed us to believe we could build an even better FitBark device at a lower price point,” explains the company in the new Kickstarter listing.
“We also felt that re-launching would better our chances of making FitBark available to dog lovers everywhere (even across the globe).”
FitBark is also hoping that its device will encourage humans to track their own activity. Its app can receive data from trackers including Fitbit and Nike Fuelband to compare the respective walkies taken by dogs and their owners. GUARDIAN