There are many devices that humans can use to quantify their daily activity — things like FitBit. Nike Plus, and countless apps for smartphones. These tools are great for helping people measure their activity, but what about the daily movements of man’s best friend?
FitBark is a company that wants to fill the gap and allow dog owners to start measuring the day-to-day activities of their canines and get them more in touch with the lives of their pets.
FitBark is essentially a pedometer for dogs. It is a little device that can attach to a dog’s collar and sync to either a smartphone or a FitBark base station, and deliver data about the animal’s hourly movements to its owner. According to a description on FitBark’s Kickstarter page (which with 23 days to go is about a quarter of a way to its $100,000 fundraising goal), the way FitBark works and reports data back to dog owners is remarkably similar to the Nike Fuel score on Nike Plus Fitbands: A goal is set for a dog’s daily activity, with that goal being equivalent to an hour of “moderately intense physical activity”, with the rest of the day being spent expelling relatively little energy, FitBark describes. As a pooch approaches that goal throughout the day, the percentage score of goal achieved changes. FitBark calls this the BarkScore, and owners can monitor the progress of their dog throughout the day.
While this type of technology might seem excessive or something appropriately only for the gadget-obsessed pet owner who pampers their dog constantly, there actually are a number of practical applications for this device. Perhaps the best use would be monitoring that someone who you’re paying to take care of your dog (a dog walker, for example) is actually doing their job. Additionally, the anyone leaving their dog for an extended period of time might enjoy having a way to stay in touch with their animal while away.