Connected Objects
Multifunction dog tag boosts luck of finding lost pooch

Dog owners dread the idea of losing their pooch. So, the idea of a smart, wearable device is a no-brainer for many pet owners.

The new Lucky Tag, developed by Los Angeles-based Beaconpliance, is a dog wearable device that combines three main features into one. The on-collar tag can be used as a tracking device to find a missing dog, but also offers location-based service social functionality among nearby dog owners, along with pet healthcare functions. The tag uses beacon technology to help users find their dogs. Each device has a unique ID configured for each dog and constantly sends out a Bluetooth signal as far as 250 feet for Android and iOS smartphones nearby to detect and locate the ID.

The “Find My Dog’ feature helps users locate their missing pooches with the collaborative efforts of Lucky Tag devices nearby. Lucky Tag owners can also exchange contact info with each other, enhancing the device’s social functionality. The device, meanwhile, tracks and logs each dog’s activity level and ambient temperature, and syncs the data with the user’s smartphone. Early bird backers can get a Lucky Tag by pledging as little as $29 and are expected to get the device in February. Beaconpliance is looking to raise $40,000.

Lucky Tag supposedly consumes less power than similar devices like Pawda and Tagg that use GPS technology. But GPS devices cover a much larger area. As Beaconpliance concedes on its Kickstarter campaign, the biggest challenge with beacon technology is that it relies on the collaborative support and power of a mass community. That means unless many consumers buy the device for their dogs, a key part of its functionality will not work well. That is a major downside of the device. But the relatively low pricing may be enough of an incentive for some consumers to buy one.

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