Tuesday, 30 April 2013

FitBark helps dog owners keep track of their pet’s activity

FitBark helps dog owners keep track of their pet’s activity

Detailed on a recent Kickstarter campaign page, Fit Bark is a small device that attaches to a dog’s collar and tracks daily activity levels. Somewhat similar to a Fit bit or Jawbone Up, the Fit Bark helps the dog’s owner understand how much exercise is recommended for their pet each day. For instance, a quick look at the current activity percentage level on the accompanying mobile application can tell the dog owner if Fido has been laying around the house all day or not. If a dog has spent the day relaxing, the owner will know to give their pet a longer walk after returning home from work in order to fulfill exercise goals for the day. 

In order to get started, the owner attached the plastic Fit Bark to the collar of their dog and pairs the device with their smartphone over Bluetooth. The Fit Bark can also be paired with additional smartphones, thus allowing multiple people within a household to upload data to Fit Bark’s Web server when in range of the device. This data is immediately available in real time and can be viewed within the smartphone application.

This could be ideal to keep track of a neighborhood dog walker that’s been hired by a family. Family members will be able to immediately see when their dog was walked based off the change in activity rate in addition to the intensity of that walk. It could also be used by doggy daycare providers, basically giving owners the ability to check in on their pets from time to time during the day.

Along with the small Fit Bark device, users can also purchase the Fit Bark home base. Designed in a plastic casing that looks like a doghouse, the Fit bark communicates with the home base in order to relay data similar to any paired smartphone.

The home base can be charged over USB, thus the device can be plugged into a standard wall outlet or a computer. The owner also has to configure the home base to connect to the home’s wireless network in order to relay Fit Bark data. 

The tech inside the Fit Bark includes a 3-axis accelero meter, memory that can hold up to three weeks of activity data and a rechargeable battery that lasts up to ten days. Regarding app compatibility, the Fit Bark works with the iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPad 3, iPad Mini and iPod Touch (5th generation). The team is currently working on an Android application, but it won’t be available to Fit Bark owners until later this year.

Among the large variety of contribution levels, backers can choose to simply purchase the Fit bark device for $99 if they only want to pair it with their Apple devices. If a backer wants a home base with their Fit bark  that will cost $169. There are also a couple options for families with multiple dogs. Assuming the Kick starter campaign is fully funded within the next four weeks, the first batch of Fit Bark devices will head out to backers during September 2013. As with all Kick starter campaigns, backers should be aware that manufacturing delays could push back the launch window of the Fit Bark. 



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