Connected Objects Technology Wearables

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.

Connected Objects

Bringrr sets off social search parties to find your lost items

The Premise. News flash: People lose things. Whether it’s a wallet, cellphone, bag or pet, we’ve all misplaced something or left it behind by accident. Tracking devices have always been subject to high prices and the world of spy movies, leaving the average “loser” stuck relying on memory to find the wayward object.

The Product. Bringrr hopes to prevent people from losing anymore items. The original concept is a normal car USB charger—with a twist. On top of being able to charge any USB device, Bringrr will notify the driver if their phone is in the car or not. For every other item, there’s BringTags. The small circular pieces have a small and simplistic design that makes them easy to pair with any commonly lost item. With a very initiative and sleek design interface, Bringrr’s iPhone app can also help to locate lost items by providing information about distance and direction.

The Pitch. The Bringrr video very simply demonstrates the practical uses of the USB port and BringTags. By showing many different real life scenarios where the Bringrr helped people avoid losing their items, it becomes pretty clear how much it can benefit everyday life. There’s also a cute storyline to follow of a girl who uses the Bringrr community to reunite her with her lost cat, which leaves a nice hint of “happily ever after.”

The Perks. For the person who loses just about everything, $89 will land a Bringrr and four BringTags with the color of their choosing. For $49, you’ll be able to keep track of your phone and one other item with a BringTag, and for $39, a Bringrr USB charger will always remind you if you drive away without your phone. The price of the items you’re scared of losing in sentiment or monetary value probably far outweighs the dent in your pocket these pledges will make.

The Potential. This is a very cool idea, that’s useful for just about anyone, right? Well, Unfortunately for the Bringrr folks, at least half a dozen other companies have also thought so, creating products such as the Zomm, Kensington Proximo and  Stick-n-Find. O Nearly 50,000 people have already pledged to receive The Tile. Essentially, BringTags and Tiles have the same features except one is circular, and the other is a rounded square.

A key to these tracking devices’ success is the involvement of the community when items are lost. Therefore, the larger the community, the more likely you are to find that item. Tile has a bit of a head start building a community, but Bringrr has a snazzy USB charger for your car that could help prevent having to head back if you left your phone at home. At nearly identical prices, it’s going to be a battle, with many other players vying to find your misplaced objects.