The idea of electronics on a dog or cat collar is not particularly revolutionary; pet doors that require collar electronics have been around for a while. But the world of technology never stays stagnant, so three companies have come out with fitness trackers for pets and one with a game console for dogs. (The cats feel this last is unnecessarily species-ist.)
The trackers come from Canhegat, a French company; Pitpat, located in the UK; and Wonderwoof, made in London and New York City. The doggie gaming console is the brainchild of CleverPet, based in San Diego.
All three trackers work similarly, but vary in some details. All three track activity and recommend feedings and exercise based on some combination of breed, weight, and activity. All three are Bluetooth enabled and include an app for your iOS or Android device. All are attractive, too. Canhegat’s Canhe-Fit is a sort of rounded pyramid that comes in multiple colors. Pitpatpet is vaguely dog-biscuit shaped with a paw print inset. The Wonderwoof Bowtie is, not surprisingly, a bowtie.
As for their special powers, Canhe-Fit is the only one that comes in a cat version, although Wonderwoof has one in the works. Canh-Fit is also the only device with geolocation to help find lost pets. Pitpatpet has the longest battery life (1 year) and includes 200 different dog breeds to help figure your pet’s best exercise and meal regimen. The Bowtie includes a social network function that lets you hook up with other local dog owners.
If your dog is a couch potato, CleverPet could be just the thing to make exercise more attractive. The game console runs Catch the Squirrel, Pattern Play, and Word Learn. The last uses recordings of your voice to teach your pet. CleverPet also tracks food intake and you can watch a pet’s gaming progress. The console is low-profile, durable and won’t slide around.
After learning more about these products, our cats’ reaction was “meh,” which is a common cat reaction to just about anything. None of them was interested in wearing any kind of collar or chasing virtual objects you can’t eat. On the other hand, get your dog one of each. You can use a collar to track how much exercise she’s getting playing games. Might not hurt for you to do the same.
(For more news from CES 2016, click the “CES2016” tag near this article.)