We suppose it makes sense that, after humans, connected dogs are the next big thing. Link AKC, backed by the American Kennel Club (hence the AKC), has just announced a smart collar designed to give dog owners more information about their pooch's wellbeing.
The collar does a few different things, from tracking your dogs's location to monitoring its comfort. The collar's built-in GPS means you'll be able to keep an eye on your pup's location at all time, and, when paired with the base station, even set up a "virtual fence" that will alert you if the dog starts wandering astray. There's also a handy remote-controlled light in case you need to go out at some ungodly hour in search of your canine companion.
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Like any wearable worth its salt, the collar also functions as an activity tracker - Fitbit et al, if you're reading this, there's a market you're overlooking here. The Link AKC collar will let owners track their dogs' activity levels and see whether it's getting the right amount of exercise each day, taking into account its breed, age and size.
One of the best features, we think, is the temperature sensor that will alert you if your dog is in an environment that's too hot or cold. Considering the number of foolish people who still leave dogs in hot cars despite all common sense and endless public service announcements (seriously, just don't do it, yeah?), this could potentially save some lives.
Finally, the collar has a feature called 'Adventures' that will let you create a "scrapbook" of memories with your dog by pushing a button, which you can then share on social media. We assume this will be more like a Facebook check-in with a photo, and that it won't be uploading a montage of you and your dog frolicking in the forest to Starship's 'Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now' - but we secretly hope for the latter.
A lot of emphasis is being put on how the collar looks too, and we can see why; somehow the market for wearable dog tech has already nailed fashion better than the human one.
The collar will cost $199, however you'll also need to sign up for a monthly membership in order to use the device, and plans start at $6.95 with a two-year commitment. We reckon that might put some people off.
The collar will be shipping by December 28, the company says, however right now it can only be ordered to the US. You can reserve one today from the website, and we'll let you know if we get word on UK pricing and availability.