It’s been dubbed an “Apple watch for dogs”. It is a collar containing sensors which can monitor your dog and track their location. It seems to me to be a GPS collar with added functionality to monitor the health of a medium-sized and large dogs. It is designed for larger dogs because the manufacturers can’t fit the required sensors into a smaller collar.
My gut feeling is that this is a useful product that will please some owners although there will no doubt be a subscription which will put off some. I’ve just found out that there will be a £10 monthly subscription and the cost of the product is about £75.
It allows dog owners to monitor their dog when they are separated which I guess happens a lot in modern life. There are too many dogs left ‘home alone’. I believe that home alone dogs suffer more than home alone cats. Although cats, too, can be quite stressed when left alone all day. There appears to be some misconceptions about leaving companion animals alone for quite long periods.
The product can also be programmed to make a noise if your dog is nearby but you cannot see them.
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And that’s the target for this product I feel. It helps dog owners take some control back of their relationship when they are forced to be away.
The company concerned is Invoxia, a French company. They presented their novel product at the Consumer Electronics Show 2022 (CES).
The collar contains a series of “radar sensors”. These pick up the required readings of the dog’s vital signs via continuous monitoring of respiratory and heart rate.
A higher-than-normal resting respiratory rate is an indicator of impending heart failure according to Romain Pariaut DVM, DACVIM, DECVIM-CA of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University.
The collar supports Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS and LTE connectivity. This connectivity allows the dog’s caregiver to monitor the dog’s health and activities remotely. As you can imagine, the owner downloads an app to their smart phone and you go from there.
It is said that this smart collar can track activities such as drinking, eating, barking, sleeping, running and walking. The report tells me that the product contains AI computer technology. This allows for ‘deep learning’. I guess what they mean in this instance is that the collar learns to understand the dog’s routines and behaviours together with some basic vital signs concerning their health. This allows the collar to then measure developments and alert their owner when required.
Invoxia call their collar “the first biometric health collar for dogs”. On their website they tell us that it is coming in the summer of 2022. They say that it monitors both the heart rate and respiratory rate while tracking activity and sleep. It contains real-time GPS tracking. They argue that between 10% and 20% of dogs are at risk of or suffer from difficult to diagnose heart conditions. Their Apple watch-type collar helps to address these issues.
It provides a window on your pet’s health in their words. The GPS tracking helps to reduce and worry about where your dog is. I can see that. For instance, a lot of people take their dogs to Richmond Park where I live. They let them off the lead which often times they shouldn’t do because it disturbs deer. Nonetheless, with this collar they can monitor their dog when out of sight and help avoid thefts.
The measurement of heart and respiratory rates are good indicators for preventative care and to monitor at risk dogs. That is their argument.
What is a radar sensor?
They are used everywhere apparently. They are used for the weekly weather forecasting and traffic control. And now they are being used for wearable devices. Autonomous cars have them. They are conversion devices that transform microwave echo signals into electrical signals. And they use wireless sensing technology to detect motion. They do this by working out the object’s position, motion characteristics and shape together with motion trajectory.
They are not affected by light and darkness. They can see through walls. And they can sense longer distances when compared to ultrasound. Finally, they are safe for people and animals. One big advantage over other sensors is that radar sensors are better at detecting motion and velocity. They detect an object’s Doppler effect (changing wave frequency) and use this to compute speed along with direction.