Keep your pets on a short virtual leash with Puppy

  • TECH
  • Tuesday, 21 Jan 2014

Like a host of other products on the market, Puppy clips to your pet's collar and allows you to track its whereabouts via Bluetooth and a smartphone app. However, it does so with a difference.

Bluetooth is a great wireless technology for connecting a set of headphones to a smartphone or for pairing a fitness tracker with its app.

It's also great for keeping track of everything from keys to mobile devices themselves as long as they're within effective range - roughly 200 feet. Therefore, when it's used to keep track of an energetic puppy its range is severely limiting. The average dog could be out of range before its owner even knows it's lost.

What makes BeLuvv's Puppy so potentially revolutionary is that it can use a dog owner's extended network of contacts as a virtual search party.

Once the app is installed on an iPhone (it's not currently Android compatible) and the Puppy device is securely fitted to Fido's collar and switched on, its Bluetooth signal will automatically ‘ping' the phones of friends or family if the dog happens to be within the phone's Bluetooth range.

All you have to do as the owner is to give your various contacts the permission to do so. It's just like managing privacy settings in Facebook, but without the video ads.

But though it may have a much bigger potential range than many other Bluetooth-enabled location devices on the market, what it doesn't have is a GPS tracker or any other bells and whistles. But it is water-resistant, the batteries last for between four months and a year and, at just $29.95, it's sure to be a big hit with dog lovers when it launches in February.

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