LAS VEGAS -- A colleague leaned over to me in the CNET double-wide at CES and asked if I had seen the Voyce, a gadget for dogs. There was something about heart rate and data collection. Ah, I said, like a Fitbit for dogs? So I went to check it out. Jeff Noce is the man behind Voyce and I can tell he's tired of hearing that Fitbit-for-dogs comparison, and he's right. It's not.
Voyce is a smart collar stuffed with sensors that monitor activity and rest levels, calories, heart rate, and respiratory rate. That data is collected over Wi-Fi, with the device needing to be charged once a week for four hours at a time. You can track trends over time and share the information with your vet. For example, heart rate can be a clue that your dog is in pain. It can be like an early warning system for getting your pup to the doc.
The collar itself costs $299 and works with a $15 monthly subscription system that helps you make sense of the data and feeds you expert information on dog topics like training and health care. The content is all customized to the breed and age of your fuzzy buddy. It may sound a little pricey, until you start to calculate how much you typically spend on pet care, treats, doggy sweaters, and chew toys. Pooch-pamperers are the likely target audience.
The Voyce collar is waterproof and can be adjusted to fit dog neck sizes all the way up to a mastiff (which is what Noce himself lives with). The company, i4C Innovations, is working on a version that will fit toy breeds and cats, as well as a bigger version for horses. It is expected to go up for pre-sale this spring with the aim of shipping the finished product in the summer.
Wearable tech for humans is hot this year at CES. It's only fair that our canine companions also get a shot at it. Our pets may soon be generating just as much data as their people, and we may all get healthier as a result.