Leon Yohai had a problem. He was traveling more ( not that he minded) but he missed and worried a bit about how his companion Charlie who happened to be a Maltese was doing while he was away. He looked at tracking collars that could tell him where Charlie was but not if he was feeling all right. Besides, the collars were big and bulky (usually made for a much larger dog) and lacking any esthetic value. So he made it his goal to create a collar that not only Charlie could love but one that would love Charlie.
The Kyon pet collar is really a pet welfare system that consists of the collar and basestation (the size of a teacup) which is provided and you can connect to it via your iphone. It uses home wifi or cellular network to contact you The collar can be used the way your companion’s dog collar always worked ( around the neck and a leash can be attached). It’s what you do with it and how you communicate with it that is different.
The Kyon pet collar does have a GPS but it has and does so much more. If your dog leaves a perimeter you have set up of 65 to 300 feet, you will be immediately notified. One day while checking how weatherproof the collar was, the Kyon Team left the collar outside where a non-team member removed it from the area. They chased it for a few hours before recovering it but in doing so discovered that they needed to add an altimeter sensor to know not only the location of the building but what floor. The collar will also let your dog tell other humans that it is lost by LEDs displaying “lost” and contact information (which can be turned off).
Another experience that occurred to Charlie that led to the modification in the collar was when he was suddenly attacked by a much larger dog who was off his leash in the hallway which left poor Charlie paralyzed for a few months. To prevent this or other dog fights a high frequency sound, audible to dogs not humans, will actually pacify them. The extra value of this sound addition is that if you have a dog who does excess barking, it will calm him and stop the barking.
Other sensors on the collar include a water sensor that could prevent drowning in a pool. No, rain should not give a false alarm because there is also an accelerometer to detect movement. This 9-Axis accelerometer can also help you know how your pet is doing because by monitoring activity levels over a period it can give indication of possible lethargy (dog not feeling well). There is also a sensor to monitor surrounding temperature to alert if your pet is getting too hot or even too cold. Besides the sensors, the app can let you know about vet appointments, in flight travel updates, annual vaccination and walk reminders.
The Kyon collar is available now until May 15 on Kickstarter at a reduced cost. Later it will cost $249. An additional monthly cost of $4.99/month is also required as a service fee, which covers the cellular network costs that enable an owner to continuously locate a pet in real‐time in 120 countries around the world when the pet is away from the basestation and phone. In the US they have a contract with ATT and are looking at a couple of other companies like Team Mobile. The companies have to be able to use GSM. The collar comes in three sizes: Small Size ( 9.8-13.4 inches neck), Medium Size (13.4-16.5 inches neck) and Large Size (16.5-19.7 inches neck). Because the technology of sensors is shrinking, they plan to have collars available for cats in the future although I have never seen a cat that wants you to know where they are all the time. Just keep their hiding places secret and they’ll be happy.