Since there seems to be more than enough wearable tech to satisfy the human market, one company has designed a health tracker for dogs. Voyce measures a dog's fitness and general health, helping owners and vets communicate more efficiently with their four-legged friends.
Tom's Guide met with Voyce (and the company's golden retriever, Shana) at CE Week in New York City, where we got to see the Voyce peripheral for ourselves. At first, we thought a wearable device for dogs was an exercise in yuppie excess, but when we heard about what the device can do, we learned how it could be a very useful accessory for both dogs and their humans.
The Voyce peripheral is a small USB device that attaches onto a lightweight, rubbery collar. Shana did not appear to mind wearing it any more than an average collar. The device can measure how active a dog is, how long he or she sleeps, how many calories he or she consumes, as well as his or her heart and respiratory rate. Users can program a dog's age and breed, as a Yorkie and an Irish wolfhound, for example, understandably have different health needs.
This is not just so that owners can help keep their dogs fit; people have been doing that just fine for tens of thousands of years without wearables. Rather, dogs are not good at communicating when there's something wrong. They instinctively hide pain, and it can be difficult to tell a lethargic dog who's tired from a lethargic dog who's sick.
The Voyce device connects with a mobile or desktop app that allow you to set health and fitness goals for your dog and work toward them. You can also share vital information with your vet in real-time, which could be particularly useful if you suspect your canine companion is sick.
Voyce does not seem like a necessity for dog owners, but it does seem like a useful accessory for those who want to combine their love of dogs with their love of gadgets and tech. Voyce does not yet have a set price or release date.