Connected Objects
Best Fit Friend puts more woof in your workout

The Premise. Humans and canines are alike in that we all need regular exercise. Unfortunately, today the majority of people as well as their beloved pets are not getting the amount of exercise recommended for a healthy, active lifestyle. Having a partner in exercise can make things a bit easier, but people can sometimes be unreliable.

The Product. MyFitDog is a heath and fitness company that has created a way for dog owners to get fit alongside their furry friends. The Best Fit Friend (BFF) is a pair of Bluetooth-enabled activity monitors worn like a wristwatch on the owner, with the other clipped to the dog’s collar. Using the MyFitDog app on your Android or iOS smartphone, you may track the amount and intensity of your movement and even compare data, set goals, and interact with other Best Fit Friend owners.

The Pitch. Tianyi Joe Zhu, the founder and CEO of MyFitDog, is featured in a goofball video that includes commentary from his (presumed) dog Cooper. Between the schtick that runs a bit too long, Zhu explains the consequences of dogs not getting enough exercise, which include more trips to the vet’s office and possibly an early demise. He also explains how frustrating it can be for the average person trying to get fit via crazy fad diets and intense exercise programs that are impossible to keep up with.

He concludes that the only logical way to really make a change in your (and your dog’s) daily habits is to embark (sorry, pun intended) on the journey together with Best Fit Friend. Scrolling through the page you will see images of the different components of Best Fit Friend, screen shots of the MyFitDog app and more commercials for Best Fit Friend done by the funny “Hollywood team.” If the initial product video didn’t introduce enough of Tianyi’s personality, click the Vimeo link to one of his previous pitches. The project goal is $30,000 total.

The Perks. For $99 you receive a set of Best Fit Friend devices (one for the owner, the other for the dog). For an additional $49 ($148 total) you may receive an extra device for either an additional owner or additional dog. One generous backer willing to donate $5,000 will receive a full Best Fit Friend set, an additional device, and will even have the opportunity to star in the next MyFitDog commercial.  The final product is expected to retail for between $100 and $120 with estimated shipping in May 2014.

The Potential. Best Fit Friend will be tasked with drumming up supporters who need to be motivated enough to start a fitness plan for themselves and their pets. While tracking the intensity and amount of exercise is a solid way to measure exercise, it seems challenging to set a pace which would achieve goal rates of intensity for both you and your pup simultaneously. Still, it addresses a common problem that many Americans and their dogs face today – how to stay motivated to incorporate exercise into a daily routine. While Voyce is aiming at a more comprehensive set doggie data for you to analyze, Whistle is another activity monitor and (iOS-only for now) app for dogs (not people) which is available today for about $130.