Volkswagen says this special cap a dog can wear — allowing you to monitor and stay in touch with him as he goes for a walk alone — is just a concept.
And as concepts go, we would say this would have to be one of the most stupid ones ever.
Called the Connected Dog, it’s billed in this video as the prototype for a newfangled way to walk your dog — without ever leaving home.
“Just like the My Volkswagen app, the Connected Dog is designed to make the owner’s life easier. The owner no longer needs to be present to walk the dog. After he remotely unlocks the doggy door, he is able to track the dog through both GPS and a live cam, whilst the application enables the ability to provide the dog with location-specific voice commands and rewards for spotless behavior (or ‘being a good boy’).”
In it, a dog is shown roaming the city and stopping at a butcher shop while receiving remote voice commands from his owner.
“The dog is in charge, and he has an incredible life,” Dutch dog trainer Martin Gaus explains. “We’ll have to wait to see what the future will bring, but the sky’s the limit.”
The Connected Dog cap consists of a camera that sends live video to the owner, GPS tracking to show exactly where the dog is roaming, and speakers for the dog to hear commands.
PSFK.com called The Connected Dog “a cute and clever concept.”
AdWeek reported that the video is a prank.
Achtung! made a similar prank video last year, featuring a self-driving, self-braking VW baby stroller.
This one though — early April Fool’s joke that it is — isn’t too far off the mark when it comes to some of the newfangled dog technology being marketed these days, much of it aimed at ways you can control your dog from afar, or otherwise shirk your responsibility as a pet owner.
To all who seek to do that we offer a high-tech alternative, a robot dog.
And, if you insist on a real dog, we offer a low-tech solution: Get your ass home.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 10th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: achtung, advertising, animals, cam, cap, connect, connected dog, dog, dog walking, dogs, gps, headphones, marketing, media, pets, prank, the connected dog, video, volkswagen, vw, walking
Reading stories about technological advances hitting the marketplace often makes me roll my eyes — because many of those so-called innovations, in my view, are like those new clothes that emperor wore.
Case in point, fitness trackers — those devices you wear on your wrist to remind you to get off your duff. Perhaps they perform some more vital functions, but based on a TV ad — pretty much the extent of my knowledge about them — they will buzz or beep if you’ve been sitting still too long (which most often is a result of earlier technology, i.e. the computer and television).
If that weren’t ridiculous enough, there are also (eye roll) fitness trackers for dogs.
Forbes reports that Whistle, the maker of a fitness tracker for your dog, is raising $16 million in a Series B venture capital round, bringing its total funding to $25 million.
In other words, a lot of people with money believe in it.
Whistle’s $100 Fitbit-like dog collar features a 3-axis accelerometer to track movement, Bluetooth for connecting with your smartphone, WiFi, and an app that collects fitness data, allowing you to track the activity level of your dog.
Whistle has acquired Snaptracs, which makes Tagg, a GPS tracker for your dog that — in addition to tracking movement — also includes a temperature sensor to make sure your dog doesn’t get too hot or cold.
The interest of such companies is understandable, given society is nuts about gizmos, apps and pets. On the latter alone, Americans spent $58.51 billion last year, according to the American Pet Products Association.
I’m all for any device that helps find dogs when they’re lost, but really now, do we need devices to let us know whether our dogs are too hot, too cold, and getting enough exercise?
We already have two devices for that, called eyes. And better yet, they are rollable, and don’t need recharging.
(Maybe someday there will be a wristband I can wear that notifies me when I am rolling my eyes — and reminds me, perhaps with a gentle zap of electricity, that it’s not an attractive trait.)
We’re in danger of letting silly gizmos replace our common sense, while gizmo-making companies get rich on our gullibility.
That’s how my rolling eyes see it; others see it differently. As Whistle CEO and founder Ben Jacobs explains:
“As the Internet of Things moves into these initial areas, people are looking at other key parts of life,” he is quoted as saying in the Forbes article. “The pet is a member of the family and an interesting vertical in the Internet of Things.”
Is there an app to translate that?
Posted by John Woestendiek January 30th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, apps, collar, collars, collection, data, device, dog, dogs, eye roll, fit, fitbit, fitness, gizmos, gps, pets, products, snaptrac, tagg, technology, wearable, whistle, wristbands
“Putting My Trust in You”
Sexy voice … street smart
Kind, patient … You complete me,
(Highway Haiku is a collection of poetry, composed on the road, that appears semi-regularly in “Travels with Ace. To see all of them, click here.)
Posted by John Woestendiek October 9th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, direction, directions, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, faith, global, gps, haiku, highway, highway haiku, lady, maps, ohmidog!, pets, poetry, positioning, road, road trip, travel, traveling with dogs, travels with ace, trust, voice
Police in Walsrode, Germany, say they have trained a vulture named Sherlock to lead them to cadavers.
By placing a GPS device on his leg, they can track him and respond — I’d hope before he’s eaten too much of the evidence.
“If it works, it could save time because the birds can cover much more area than sniffer dogs or humans,” officer Rainer Herrmann told the Daily Mail.
The turkey vulture, a natural scavenger, feeds almost exclusively on carrion, finding its meals through keen vision and a sense of smell that allows it to detect the gasses produced during the decay of dead animals from as high as 3,000 feet in the air.
“‘It was a colleague of mine who got the idea from watching a nature programme,” Herrmann said. ”
Sherlock can even find remains in woodland or in thick undergrowth. Unlike sniffer dogs, who need regular breaks, Sherlock doesn’t seem to get tired and can cover a far larger area.
Sherlock is being trained at Walsrode, the largest bird park in the world with 650 different species.
Trainers hope to assemble a squadron of crimefighting vultures, but — given that the vultures aren’t native to the area, would have to be raised from chicks to be tame, and require lots of training — it will be a while before they are called to duty.
Posted by John Woestendiek May 21st, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, birds, buzzards, cadaver, cadaver dogs, dead bodies, decay, finding, germany, gps, K-9, k9, locating, news, ohmidog!, pets, police, police dogs, rainer herrmann, scavenger, scent, sherlock, tracking, turkey vultures, vultures, walsrode