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CES Feature Articles

January 08, 2014

Wearable Wellness: It's a Dog's Life

As anyone who is following both the incredibly dynamic wearable tech space knows, all things wearable have taken center stage at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES (News - Alert)) in Las Vegas.  And, while most of the items being trumpeted at CES have to deal with the popular and hopefully next “must have’s” for humans, particularly in the health and wellness area, it has been an item from a start-up Voyce for looking after the health and welfare of man’s best friend which has stolen the hearts as well as the eyes and ears of those in attendance. 

Yes you read correctly, wearable has gone to the dogs.  As a life-long dog owner I have what I believe is a (pardon the pun) healthy obsession—pet insurance, frequent visitor to the vet at the first sign of odd behavior, teeth cleanings, vitamins, etc. — in the health of my pets. This has extended over decades and breeds, including our furry family member Charlie a five year-old Shiba Inu (see below). 

Source (News - Alert): Peter Bernstein

The good news is that all of that terrific technology that has gone into advanced medical devices which can be remotely monitored, have been incorporated into a rather stylish collar by Voyce (an i4C Innovations company that is a subsidiary of Chantilly, VA-based Intersections Inc).  The collar containing the sensors and monitoring capabilities comes in three sizes to fit small, medium and large dogs. It is extremely versatile in that it not only takes measurements about every step they take and move they make or do not, but also that measures heart and respiratory rates.

We all hear about the “voice of the customer” being critical these days of resolving problems including medical ones, and as the aptly named Voyce touts their Wi-Fi enabled smart collars let you, “Understand your dog like never before™.”  In fact, as you can see from the company url to the tagline the focus is about enabling your dog to tell you things you can’t ask them, actually you can ask but they can’t precisely answer, about how they are feeling. It means we as their owners can be proactive as well as reactive, and have what is invaluable, i.e., peace of mind. 

“A revolution in love”

I could go through a detailed technical explanation about the Voyce solution, but this is really a case where a video and a couple of screen shots amplify one of Voyce’s contentions about their product being “A revolution in love.”  The embedded video sums it up nicely.

Wi-Fi give you a dashboard in real-time about your dogs trends.

Source: Voyce

It is valuable information for you and can be shared with your vet. In fact, if you delve into the company website you will see that the technology being used for monitoring was developed in collaboration with biomedical engineers, dog experts, and Cornell University (home of what is arguably the premier veterinary medical school in the U.S.).  It generates the same types of information, with the comparable  results as the sophisticated equipment used by vets in their offices.

Launching in Spring of this year at roughly $300 plus a monthly or annual subscription, the service will provide not only the monitoring of you canine companion but also exclusive content and tools written and produced by leading authorities on dog wellness.  

Pictured are: the collar which fits necks of 12-32 inches and weighs less than 6 ounces including the band, and the app which has been optimized for all current major browsers, desktops and smartphones.  It requires Internet access and WiFi (News - Alert) connectivity for syncing (802.11 b/g/n at 2.4 GHz), and supports up to 10 separate networks.  The collar comes with a rechargeable lithium-ion polymer battery which lasts roughly a week before needed more juice, and a portable charging station that utilizes micro-USB.

I could not close without showing a happy customer. Meet Lacie, the proverbial “doggie in the window” made famous in song in the 1953 chart topper by Patti Page.

It is easy to see why this is the talk of CES. If you are a dog owner like me, Spring can’t get here soon enough including warmer weather for walking Charlie.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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