Smart collars give independence to the dogs of the future

You’ll never lose your dog again with a new flashing wearable collar, and if he/she does manage to run away they can always let themselves back into the house using embedded wireless technology.

Californian start-up company PetAura has made a dog collar that combines LEDs and near field communication (NFC) technology.

The NFC technology in the collar enables close-range communication between two similar devices. This can be used by your dog to open doors that have been combined with the NFC technology, removing the need for dog flaps and being pestered by man’s best friend to leave the house.

The smart-collar can also combine contact information for if your dog gets lost, medical data and Bitcoin or Google Wallet data, presumably so the dog can order its own food.

The rechargeable LEDs that come with the collar include more than 80 hours of use time. Also included are neodymium magnets that help to treat arthritis and increase blood flow in our pets.

The company has now launched a Kickstarter campaign to help raise the funding for the company progress. The founders of the company have high ambitions for the collar, which they envisage could be adapted for other pets as well.

Their funding campaign explains the thinking behind the new collar: “When we first came up with the idea of integrating safety LED lights and other technologies into a pet collar, we began ‘opening up’ other products.

“The first thing that struck us was how poorly made they were. Quality & Comfort were completely ignored. Even the small details, were a big deal in our opinion.”

petura2

Researchers from Cornell University, New York, have previously created a $299 collar that measures heart rate, counts calories and checks if the animal is getting enough exercise.

PetAura say on their website that the collar will be affordable while being of a higher quality than that of the existing competition.

They say: “We’ve just started a dog collar for now, but already working on thinner ones for our cats.

“The funding we receive for this project will empower our team to grow. It will also let us know that there is a community that wants better things for our extended pet families.”


Image courtesy of the PetAura.


3D body scanning: bringing perfect sizing to online clothes shopping

Online clothes shopping has always been a risky business due to variations in sizing, but now a new service has been launched that uses 3D body scanning to perfectly match consumers with the right clothing sizes.

Named Bodi.me, the service uses an individual’s data to find the perfect size in a wide range of leading clothing brands.

Available to both men and women, Bodi.me is built on complex technology to achieve an accurate result with different brands, as co-founder and CEO Lara Mazzoni explains: “We have developed a number of algorithms that we apply to different brands… some fashion brands have a dedicated team who work on specific algorithms for each brand.”

Bodi.me

Consumers provide their body data by entering manually-taken measurements, using their webcam or by going to a 3D scanner booth to get completely accurate data about their size.

Using 3D scanners to create fashion is not entirely new – high-end fashion store Selfridges has been offering a 3D scanning service since 2011 – but their accuracy has increased significantly in recent years.

The first 3D scanner will be opened in London at the end of this month, and will roll out elsewhere in the future. Getting a 3D bodyscan will eventually cost £5 (€6/$8), but for now it will be free to build interest in the product.

Bodi.me

Bodi.me is completely free to consumers, and plans to make money by charging fashion companies for the service.

At present the system seems to be working: the company already provides sizing information for leading brands such as Topshop, Mango, Tommy Hilfiger, Lacoste and Forever 21.

It will also provide an outlet for traditional tailors to sell online. “We work with tailors around the globe to help them take measurements from customers all over the world,” explains Mazzoni.

This could mean that tailored clothing becomes far more affordable, as consumers are able to order from traditionally cheap tailors based in areas such as Southeast Asia.

Bodi.me on Forever 21

Although first and foremost Bodi.me is designed for fashion purposes, Mazzoni has other, wider plans for the technology. Because it allows consumers to regularly update their details, it offers long-term data about their changing size, which could be used for fitness purposes.

Mazzoni also believes it could have uses for wearable technology. “There is high demand in health and fitness for wearable technology,” she explains. “Bodi.me could let you switch between fitness technology without using your body data.”

She is also looking at applying the technology to 3D printing – perhaps enabling users to order 3D printed clothing or jewellery that is designed to perfectly fit them.

Perhaps unsurprising is the obligatory private community that is also on the horizon. However unlike many brand-specific communities, this one has a very clear benefit for consumers. It would enable friends and family to have access to your measurements, putting an end to the nightmare of ill-fitting presents.

Bodi.me could be supplying the missing piece of the puzzle when it comes to online shopping – trying on clothing has always been the main deterrant to shopping online, and with that gone it could be the final toll for fashion on the high street. But Bodi.me will have to work to stay ahead of the game. Ebay has already forked out for a similar service, and more companies are likely to follow soon.


Images courtesy of Bodi.me.