Here’s another silly app my dog and I can live without.
Fujitsu Ltd., a Japanese company, is launching a “pet management service” that allows dog owners to monitor on their cellphones their dogs’ every step, their stress levels, and even the surrounding temperature.
The electronics company calls the product Wandant — a combination of “wan wan” (a Japanese term for dog) and the word “pendant,” which is what the monitored dog wears around its neck to transmit the information via the Internet.
It’s about half an ounce and the size of a business card.
According to the Wall Street Journal, “the service is another step in Japan’s long-running fascination in better understanding their pets.”
Though not quite as far-fetched as “Bowlingual,” touted by toy company Takara as a dog-to-human translation device, Wandant, claims it can provide dog owners with a series of graphs showing everything from how many steps a dog has taken to when he’s feeling itchy.
“Consumers can also manually add information such as how much food the dog ate or when it went to the bathroom to help manage its weight, while also keeping a daily diary of that day’s activities,” according to the WSJ report.
Customers can use their Android smartphones — its’ not yet available as an iPhone app — to check their dog’s up-to-the-minute profile.
The company described the motivations for making product in a press release:
“Given the demographic shifts in modern Japan, where there are fewer children and more people living longer, as well as a growing number of single-member households, pets have become increasingly important as family members and companions … The aging of pets and their care, as well as problems such as obesity, are becoming increasingly prominent issues. In response, Fujitsu developed the Wandant-based cloud service to support health monitoring in dogs.”
It went on the market Wednesday, but only in Japan.
(Photos: From Fujitsu’s website)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 30th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: android, animals, app, apps, cloud, collar, conditions, device, dog, dogs, fujitsu, graphs, internet, iphone, itchy, japan, japanese, monitor, owners, pedometer, pendant, pets, smartphone, steps, stress, technology, temperature, wandant, worn
Having drawn my line in the technogical sand — though it’s subject to being moved — I am managing to get through life for now without texting, or using any mobile apps at all.
But I’ll admit I sometimes wonder what — other than being annoyed more often — I’m missing out on.
If this app is any indication, not much.
“Ever wondered just what your pet would look like as a baby?” read a press release sent to ohmidog! “Well wonder no more.”
Now, thanks to a new app called Petbaby, we can turn a picture of our dog into one of what he or she would have looked like had he or she been born human.
According to the press release, the new cellphone app allows you to “take a photo of your favourite furry friend and turn it into a little human with the simple click of a button! Whether your pet is a dog, cat or even a rabbit bring your pet to life with Petbaby!!”
I’m not sure why anyone would want to do that, or what we’re supposed to do with the finished product. Frame a copy for our desk at the office? Use it on our Christmas cards? Nor do I understand why Petbaby thinks our dogs, already pretty lively, have to be transformed into humans to be “brought to life.”
Merging animals and humans has a long history, most of which, fortunately, is in the realm of science fiction and fantasy, and now apps. Let’s hope — in a world where dogs are being cloned, where human “furries” dress up and pretend to be animals at conventions, where technology has a way of trampling right over reason — it stays there.
Because the result of such morphing — even if it’s just taking place on your iPhone — is creepy.
Even Fierce Mobile Content, a website that keeps up with apps, named Petbaby a “worst entertainment app,” called it “an exercise in extreme stupidity,” and noted in its review the parallels to Dr. Moreau, the fictional mad doctor who created new beings from vivisected animals:
“There’s nothing cute or cuddly about slapping Fido’s eyes and snout on a random baby’s head. In fact, if you saw some half-infant/half-schnauzer mutant on the street, you’d kill it with fire and not a jury in the land would convict you. Babies? Cute. Dogs? Even cuter. But Pet Baby? Ugh. It’s the most warped photo-warping app on the market.”
Posted by jwoestendiek November 30th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: android, animals, app, apps, babies, cellphone, cloning, dogs, furbabies, furries, humans, iphone, morphing, pet baby, petbaby, pets, photos, technology, warping
According to Klooff, what I need to do is get a golden retriever, or a Siberian husky, or a French bulldog — and then just wait for women to line up in hopes of dating me.
Based on findings in a survey conducted by Klooff, a new iPhone app for pet lovers, those are among the dog breeds that best attract women.
“Pets are great for lots of different things; for companionship, for fun romps at the park, and even for getting a date,” said Alejandro Russo, co-founder of Klooff. “That’s why we built Klooff, so people can express themselves through their pets. And possibly even find a little romance while at it.”
I find it revolting — maybe not Klooff itself, but this particular avenue the humans behind the app have chosen in a quest for publicity.
It’s dogsploitation at its worst. It reduces dog to an accessory — one that can help you “express yourself” and get you dates. It makes dogs the equivalent of those Axe products that purport to attract women, like flies to dog poop.
If the main reason you are getting a dog is to attract humans of the gender you are seeking — be it for a date or a long-term relationship — don’t get a dog.
If you are getting a dog for other reasons, but want to factor in which breed would serve you best as you go about your courting and woo-pitching, don’t get a dog.
If you think that a dog’s breed is all you need to know — that breed alone determines every facet of a dog’s personality and behavior, thereby making him 100 percent predictable — don’t get a dog, at least until you do a little more research.
Here’s a sample of their pun-laden press release:
Just what are the best breeds for singles?
It’s no secret that taking your dog for a walk during these upcoming dog days of summer is a great way to meet other singles, make a connection, and potentially land a hot date. But what dog breeds give men and women the best chance of getting a “leg up” on the competition in the “dog eat dog” world of dating and romance?
A new international poll on what goes on in one of the hottest singles scenes – at the dog park – suggests certain breeds are the “cat’s meow” in navigating the “ruff” world of dating, whereas others hinder their chances of success. The survey illuminates what types of dogs men and women should own to attract their next girlfriend, boyfriend, hookup, or soulmate…and which dogs to completely stay away from.
I will point out here that my dog Ace has gotten me dates — in fact, pretty much every date I’ve had in recent years. I would go so far to say that, while he smells much worse, he works much better than Axe deodorant, or body spray or hair styling products. But that’s an unexpected benefit, not the sole or even main reason he came into my home.
Although it was once the case, in today’s society most of us no longer choose dogs based on the work they can do for us – unless you are a shepherd, or a hunter, or a dog show ribbon seeker.
Today we choose them for companionship — for the love they bring into our homes, as opposed to the varmints they can chase away, or the potential suitors of our own species they might attract.
The Klooff app, though, is indicative of a mindset that still lingers – despite the evolution of dogs, despite the evolution of our thinking about them:
Looking at dogs solely in terms of what they can do for us.
The notion of getting a dog for the purpose of spicing up your romantic life is selfish — on par with ruining a pristine natural environment to feed your whims.
The notion that you should choose a dog based on how well its breed reportedly attracts humans of the gender you are seeking is equally unwise.
Klooff ranks breeds in terms of their ability to attract dates. The lists are based on a survey Klooff says is ”representative of 1,000 pet owners and non-owners.” It presents the results in countdown style:
The top dog breeds to attract men were:
2. Labrador Retrievers
1. Golden Retrievers
The top dog breeds to attract women were:
5. French Bulldogs
4. Siberian Huskies
3. Labrador Retrievers
2. Golden Retrievers
1. German Shepherds
Klooff is a newly launched mobile app that lets users create profiles for their pets, allowing them to upload pet photos and interact with other pet lovers, “and maybe make the dog park dating scene a little easier.”
According to Klooff, men who own retrievers are seen as “great dads,” men who own a Siberian Husky are seen as “manly,” and men who own bulldogs, boxers or Rottweilers are seen as “just a hook up.”
According to Klooff — and this is the one that bothers us most — the man who owns a pit bull or Rottweiler is seen as ”slimy” or “sketchy.”
Klooff calls their rankings “scientific.”
If you believe that, you probably own a Chihuahua.
(Photos by John Woestendiek)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 13th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alejandro russo, animals, app, appeal, beagles, breeds, chihuahuas, dating, dating scene, dog, dog park, dogs, dumb, exploitation, french bulldog, gender, german shepherds, golden retrievers, iphone, klooff, love, mates, pets, pit bulls, pitbulls, poodles, romance, sex, siberian huskies, sketchy, slimy, stereotypes
The app was released in response to Google’s Android app “Dog Wars,” which PETA says promotes illegal dogfighting by allowing users to participate in “a digital version of the cruel blood ‘sport.’”
PETA’s new app, available for free, is aimed at “mobilizing anyone who values compassion over cruelty to speak up not only for dogs who are maimed and killed in staged fights but also for animals who are abused on factory farms, in laboratories, and in circuses.”
PETA sugggests subscribers start putting it to use by urging Google to pull “Dog Wars” from the Android Marketplace.
“Dog Wars promotes felony cruelty to animals, plain and simple,” said PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA’s new app allows iPhone users to employ consumer pressure to prevent dogs from being torn to shreds in dogfights and to nip other violent acts of abuse against animals in the bud.”
Users can participate in “action alerts” against specific products that cause animals to suffer as well as donate to PETA’s causes, all while earning points and badges. The more actions that users take, the higher their PETA rank will rise. Every alert is worth 10 points, and 10 additional points can be earned if the alert is shared on Facebook or Twitter.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 28th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: action, alerts, android, animal cruelty, animal welfare, animals, app, application, cruelty, dog fighting, dog wars, dogfighting, dogs, google, ipad, iphone, ipod, mobile, mobilizing, peta, pets, pit bulls
A dogfighting game application called “Dog Wars,” in which players fight virtual dogs for virtual money, is being offered through Google’s Android Marketplace.
Developed by Kage Games, the downloadable game allows players to choose an identity, pick their dogs and feed, train and fight them, thereby gaining “cred” and making money.
The game is now available for free download. Players can purchase virtual “adrenaline pens,” from Android which can be used to “revive your dog during a fight or even bring it back to life.”
“Never let your dog go hungry or thirsty… you must train it and feed it a while before you can fight other player’s dogs … Building Cred puts money in your pocket and lets you earn more in fights,” the game description reads.
“Let’s get it on!”
In a post on BSL News, (BSL standing for Breed Specific Legislation), readers are encouraged to flood both Google and Android with emails and complaints.
(Android is an open source operating system created by Google. While Google does not approve every app offered there, it does maintain a website where people can complain about objectionable content in games and apps. You can find it here.)
The makers sound more than a little defensive about the game.
“It is just a video game,” they say in the game description, as if anticipating some controversy. “Perhaps one day we will make gerbil wars or beta fish wars for people who can’t understand fantasy role play games … Just because something is illegal in real life in certain countries, does not mean it is illegal to make a song, movie, or video game about it.”
It doesn’t mean it’s right, or smart, either.
What’s next, a game in which players compete to see how many children they can molest?
Sure, the folks who came up with “Dog Wars” have a right to market any sick game concept they want. But my advice? Zap that app.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 23rd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: android, applications, apps, aps, dog fighting, dog wars, dogfighting, dogfights, games, google, iphone, kage games, pit bulls, pitbulls, software, video
Your dog may soon be tweeting.
Japan’s Index Corp., a mobile content provider, plans to launch an iPhone adaptation of the “Bowlingual” dog emotion translator that it says will translate dog barks into English and tweet them out to the world.
The original Bowlingual device, first offered in 2002 by Takara Tomy, consists of a microphone that goes around the dog’s neck and a handheld receiver with LCD screen that gives a written readout of the emotion a dog’s bark is expressing: sad, frustrated, needy, happy, on guard and “self-expressive.”
(That last one puzzles me. I wouldn’t consider it an emotion, and it seems any bark would be self expressive. Then again, maybe something is getting lost in translation.)
The Japanese company plans to launch the new iPhone app this summer, PCWorld reports.
Index is planning to charge $4.99 for the app, said Sonoko Tatsuno, a spokeswoman for the company in Tokyo — considerably cheaper than the $229 stand-alone version. A Japanese version of the new app will come out first, followed by an English version.
In addition to translating a dog’s bark, the software can capture a picture of the dog, using the iPhone’s built-in camera. The resulting picture can then be combined with the “translation” and sent directly from the iPhone to Twitter.
The original product proved to be a hit in Japan selling around 300,000 units, It was also put on sale in the U.S. and South Korea.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 10th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, ap, app, application, barks, bowlingual, device, dog, dogs, emotions, frustrated, happy, index corp. takara tomy, iphone, japan, japanese, needy, networking, on guard, pets, sad, social, technology, translate, translator, tweet, tweeting, twitter
Finally, a good reason to get an iPhone.
Eukanuba is offering an iPhone application that gives dog owners the location of the nearest dog parks. By simply tapping the “Locate Me” feature, users can get information about the five nearest dog parks — complete with map and driving directions.
The application will work on all iPhone and iPod Touch models, according to a company press release.
The Eukanuba OFF LEASH iPhone application can be downloaded for free at www.Eukanuba.com. Users are encouraged to share their favorite dog parks so that they can be added to the evolving park database.
Users of the application can also access Eukanuba TV 24-hours a day and see original dog-related content, including “Planet Puppy,” “Champions and Heroes,” “Eukanuba Legacy” and more.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 24th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: app, appliation, directions, dog parks, dogs, download, eukanuba, free, iphone, ipod, locate, location, map, nearest, off-leash, tech, technology, walk, walking
If you’ve got an iPhone, you can now download an application that allows you to call up the image of a virtual puppy, scratch his belly until his leg shakes, play tug of war with him, or pet him until he licks the screen.
Joseph Dolan, a recent graduate of Texas State Technical College, created the interactive program — Pocket Puppy Raiser — for Apple Inc., and a portion of proceeds from its sale will go to Guide Dogs of Texas, which raises and trains guide dogs to visually impaired Texans.
The application costs $2.99 per download and proceeds will be split among the iPhone App Store, Dolan and Guide Dogs of Texas, according to an article from the San Antonio Business Journal.
Dolan’s mother works for Guide Dogs of Texas as a puppy raising program manager. Dolan says he plans to upgrade the Pocket Puppy Raiser to reflect the different tasks guide dogs perform as they grow older.
To download the app, go to iTunes and search “Pocket Puppy Raiser.”
Posted by jwoestendiek May 14th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: app, apple, application, dog, guide dogs, guide dogs of texas, inc., iphone, itunes, joseph dolan, lick, pet, pocket puppy raiser, puppy, scratch, tug, virtual puppy