This smart collar wants to be an Apple Watch for your dog

Animal trackers have been around for ages, but Invoxia is looking to shake things up at CES 2022 with a new smart collar that can also monitor your dog’s vital signs. And of course, the smart collar doubles as a GPS and activity tracker for your pooch.

Dog fitness trackers typically rely on a combination of accelerometers and GPS sensors. Invoxia’s approach is a bit different. To monitor vital signs such as resting respiratory and heart rate, Invoxia said it has worked with certified veterinary cardiologists to develop deep learning AI using miniaturized radar sensors, similar to the Soli radar used by Google. in her Pixel 4 phones. According to Invoxia CEO Amélie Caudron, radars are ideal because they are able to take measurements regardless of your dog’s fur.

“There’s a radar that faces the neck and sends out a radio signal, and that signal won’t be reflected off the hair,” Caudron said. The edge. “So no matter how much fur or hair, it will be reflected by the first layer of skin. So the radar will actually be able to know the speed and movement of the skin just below the collar. These movements are then fed into an algorithm that determines heart and respiratory rates.

Another benefit, Caudron says, is that the collar can sit more freely and comfortably around the dog’s neck. This is not the case with smartwatches and fitness trackers used by humans, which require a tighter fit and good skin contact to get accurate heart rate readings.

Invoxia isn’t the only pet technology that tracks dogs’ vital signs. Believe it or not, there is also Continuous heart rate monitoring ECG vests, as good as Petpace smart collar. However, these are aimed more at vets than regular pet owners and do not include GPS tracking. (EKG vests may also require you to rub a conductive gel on your dog, so good luck if you have a restless Fido on your hands.) The Invoxia Collar sets itself apart by combining a traditional GPS tracker with a non-invasive way of monitoring vital signs. It is compatible with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS and LTE-M, and has escape alerts and a built-in buzzer.

Image: Invoxia

Regarding the monitoring of activities, Invoxia claims to have already four years of data collected from its Pet GPS Tracker. In addition to monitoring vital signs, the collar can also track daily activity and identify when your dog is walking, running, scratching, eating or drinking, barking, and resting. It also has a removable fabric cover for easier cleaning if your dog likes to run in mud.

That said, the Invoxia Collar will primarily focus on your dog’s baseline. Until now, continued life-saving surveillance on dogs has not really been possible on a scale large enough to be personalized based on breed, although some breeds may be more predisposed to heart or respiratory problems. However, Caudron does not rule out that this could be a possibility with more data.

As to why you might even want to know your dog’s vital signs, Invoxia says it could be helpful for pets after surgery, monitoring how pets might respond to medications, or for keeping an eye out. on those with known heart and respiratory diseases. She also noted that owners often notice that something is wrong with their pets too late. Detecting abnormalities in a pet’s baseline can help owners and vets spot disease early.

There is a catch, however. For now, the Invoxia collar is reserved for medium to large dogs. This is because it’s difficult to miniaturize radar technology to a size that would be comfortable and light enough for small animals, like toy dogs and cats. (And if you have already put a big tracker on a small dog, size and comfort make a huge difference.)

Invoxia says the collar is expected to be available in summer 2022. It will cost around $ 99 for the collar itself and an additional $ 12.99 monthly subscription for GPS functions.

Elizabeth J. Harless