Developers launch crowdfunding for Buddy dog collar - the FitBit for your dog

The collar can track your dog's location and keep tabs on its health

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The Independent Tech

A smart dog collar that will allow pet owners to track and measure their pet's health is being crowdfunded on Kickstarter - and if it raises enough money, it could become the FitBit for dogs.

The Buddy dog collar is being produced by Squeaker, a pet products company from Melbourne, Australia.

If it makes it through crowdfunding, it will allow pet owners to track their dog's health and location, as well as keeping the pet visible at night.

At the time of writing, the Buddy has raised AUD$114,585 (£53,900) of the AUD$385,000 (£181,200) goal.

Using GPS and Bluetooth, the Buddy will allow owners to keep track of their dog's activity using an Apple Watch-style monitoring chart.

Almost half of the dogs in the UK are obese, so hopefully the Buddy will allow owners to keep an eye on their dog's health more effectively.

And even if you've got a perfectly healthy pooch, losing a dog in the park could be a thing of the past - the GPS built into the collar allows owners to see their dog's location on a map, via the mobile phone app.

The app also allows dog owners to create 'geofences' - by simply drawing an outline on a map, users can create a boundary that they want their dog to stay in.

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A number of different lighting patterns can be activated via your phone

If the dog moves out of this zone, the owners will get an instant notification on their phone, and the Buddy's bright LED lights will activate a high-visibility pattern - potentially keeping your dog safe if it strays near roads.

Squeaker already sells a range of high-visibility dog accessories, such as light-up leads and more basic glowing colours.

But the Buddy collar is much more versatile, and allows owners to choose what light pattern they want to appear on their dog's collar - favourites include the flashing red and blue 'K9 Patrol' pattern, or the retro 'Kitt', which lights up in a similar way to the talking car in hit '80s David Hasselhoff show Knight Rider.

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Using 'geofencing', owners can be notified if their dog leaves a certain area

Aside from these fun features, the lights' main purpose is to keep the dog safe - either by making it more visible to drivers, or by making it easier to spot if it gets lost at night.

And in a very futuristic feature, the collar can also link up with other 'smart' products in your home.

Is your dog too hot? The collar can measure its temperature, and adjust your smart thermostat to keep it cool. If your dog runs out the back door and your phone's in the next room, you can link the collar to smart lightbulbs that can notify you instantly.

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Built-in GPS helps owners keep track of their dog's location

Squeaker are also opening up the collar to the developer community, so there's sure to be many other unusual and useful features released if the product meets its crowdfunding target and officially launches in August 2016.

For an early bird Kickstarter price, you can get a Buddy collar with all the features for $180 (£115), a price which rises to $300 (£191) when the early birds run out.

It's a lot more expensive that your standard pet shop nylon collar, but it looks like gadget-owning dog lovers will by dying to get their hands on it. If an Apple Watch is good enough for you, why not get the equivalent for your dog?

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