Chord Collar - connect with your pet
Chord Collar - connect with your pet
A first of its kind pet wearable technology that improves animal welfare and makes the joy of owning a pet as convenient as possible
A first of its kind pet wearable technology that improves animal welfare and makes the joy of owning a pet as convenient as possible Read more
About this project
Chord is a smart collar for dogs and cats that allows you to create an invisible fence wherever you go. But it’s so much more than that: Chord is like having a professional trainer ride along with your pet 24/7. Chord keeps your pet happy, healthy, and engaged in your life while reducing the aspects of pet ownership that you find annoying or inconvenient. The technology is at our disposal to improve the quality of our pets' lives, and to improve animal welfare in the world at large. By funding Chord through the support of like-minded backers like you, we can put pets, owners, and non-profits first and revenue second. Pet owners and pets deserve better and we need your support to bring about the revolution!
By backing our project, you can get Chord before it is available to the public at half of the planned $300 retail cost!
Chord uses the best technology from your smartphone -- minus the expensive and fragile screen -- with pet specific capabilities. Chord gets all the connectivity needed from WiFi and Bluetooth, without the need for a data plan or other recurring charges.
Chord gives you the ability to communicate with your pet through personalized sound and scientifically developed vibration patterns designed for dogs and cats. Your pet communicates back to you through sound, biometrics, location, and motion (sensor data).
Chord uses GPS and other signals to establish boundaries such as invisible leashes and fences. Chord measures your pet's heart-rate, activity, and more.
Chord has been prototyped and successfully used with large breed dogs. As part of this Kickstarter project, we will also create versions for small breed dogs and cats.
Chord provides the platform that allows developers and engineers to create new products and applications and deliver them to you.
These are the minimum features that will be delivered as part of this Kickstarter project. After we meet our funding goal, we will announce stretch goals that deliver even more capability and convenience!
Chord coaches you through positive rewards training using the collar and your phone. Chord uses only sound and vibration cues to direct your pet, with no shock. Using only positive methods, your pet will be happy and safe within invisible boundaries you create while always following your rules.
Learn more about how you can easily train your pet with Chord to do what you want on our website.
Chord collar training is based on our expertise with positive rewards approaches and pet welfare. Our aim is for the Chord collar to be such an effective animal training tool that reward based training becomes the only method used by animal trainers and caregivers.
We are excited to provide Chord to shelters and rescues as part of this project. In addition to helping animals in shelters by increasing adoption and retention rates, our free lost pet service will keep more pets out of shelters in the first place.
Similarly, we are proud to offer our Activity Kits that deliver the Chord collar along with materials and activities that enrich STEM and encourage literacy, while also introducing concepts in animal welfare and taking care of pets. These kits are a great addition to any school, library, or other organization for children.
We are fully committed to an open source approach for Chord. We are creating the AndRover open source project to extend Open Source Android for animal wearable devices (apps for owners are available for iPhone and Android). We are firm believers open source is better for our customers and our business, and when you back Chord, you are backing the creation of new open source software for anyone to use.
We are very excited to be able to allow backers to support the creation of the Chord Pet wearable while also donating Chord collars and educational activity kits to nonprofit organizations! We all win!
Kickstarter is not a store and you are not buying something per se; Kickstarter projects support the creation of something new. Project backers receive rewards for support as specified on the right and join us on the adventure of completing this project. Most importantly, you are boldly taking the first step to drastically improve the quality of life of pets and owners around the world. How to get started:
- Step 1. Decide which backer level is right for you. If you cannot support Chord as a backer right now, please skip to step 4.
- Step 2. Create a Kickstarter account and determine payment method.(it's super simple).
- Step 3. Wait and see what happens! If our campaign is successful your account will be charged and your reward will be secured. If we do not reach our funding goal of $622k by February 29th, then you will NOT be charged anything. We will learn from our mistakes, and come back stronger. We will make this revolution happen!
- Step 4. You have read this far. You want to see this endeavor succeed. Please spread the word! Tweets, Facebook shares, Pinteresting Pins, Instagrams, talking to strangers, - any and all efforts will help reach more and more people, and make the future us and our pets deserve a reality.
We have brought together a great team to make Chord a reality. Our team is creative, with a proven track record for making great products. Moreover we have experience developing technology for working animals. However that work has been paid for by government organizations. In that respect Chord is very different from our past experiences.
We are making a consumer product with a focus on improving the lives of pets and owners. We are extremely excited to bring Chord to shelters, rescues, and other pet welfare organizations where it can create the most benefit and yield diverse feedback. In addition to the altruistic benefits, this assures that not just tech savvy early adopters are providing initial feedback.
The time has come for changes, and we are doing things differently. The ability to aggregate health data from a large and diverse population of pets and provide that data to researchers, veterinarians, and others committed to improving animal welfare is very important to us and we will never change our values.
From these big data impacts we can make across the world, to knowing that we helped a lost pet get found before it ended up in a shelter, or worse, or knowing we helped an abused pet get rescued into the best situation for success, we are driven by our values.
We are encouraged by the results we have seen with our working prototype Chord collars. We are confident that our innovative design and values-driven approach to our first consumer product will be successful. This coming technological revolution for our pets: we feel it ticking like a bomb. But we need your help to develop the open platform and pet wearable at the heart of our mission to increase pet welfare while making pet ownership more convenient. Your support will allow us to complete and deliver Chord and the AndRover open source project with a focus on the best outcome and product, and not on reaching a profit, a certain valuation, or pleasing investors.
Back our Chord Kickstarter to ensure that you, and potentially an organization you select, receive a Chord collar for dog or cat and other rewards. You will also be included on special backer updates and we will ask you for your input as we continue development. Don’t be the only one left on the block without Chord!
If you cannot support our campaign with a monetary backing now, please help by keeping in touch and spreading the word about the Chord pet wearable technology that will allow pets and people to connect like never before.
We have been developing with two distinct prototypes for over a year. The smartphone prototype is simply a smartphone sewed into a dog collar. The magic is in the apps that we created for the collar and owner's phone that allows commands to be transmitted by WiFi and Bluetooth. This prototype has allowed us to develop and test apps for iPhone and Android and to verify the pet communication response, and the functions of our core features. This short clip is from our very first test with “Captain” in November 2014:
This video shows James teaching Chewie a new command. It is raw and unedited and filmed over a few days and shows how quickly you can train your dog. Most importantly, at the end, Chewie follows the “go to bed” command given by the collar when he is alone in the room. The ability for the Chord to watch and guide our pets even when we are not around is the magic of our innovative approach.
The engineering prototype has allowed us to test materials, perform fit checks, and investigate design concepts including the placement of vibration motors and battery size.
Our first major engineering initiative is to complete a limited initial test production run of approximately 200 units in the large dog size that can be used to test and tune the software in the intended environment. This requires us to complete the electronic circuit design and layout. Then the electronic components will be assembled by a contract manufacture with whom we have previous experience. The initial test production units will be assembled and completed by a local prototype injection plastic molding facility.
Software development leading up to the prototype will focus on completing the basic AndRover extensions to open source Android for the issuing training commands via sound and haptic feedback, and receiving signals from the pet. The driver software for the specific Chord components will also be completed.
The initial test production units will be used by a variety of partners to test Chord. This includes professional dog trainers that share our belief in positive rewards training methods, and a representative sample of dog owners of different ages and experience. Additional we are targeting dogs of different breeds, ages, and personalities. This beta testing will be led by our animal behaviorist PhD and will continue throughout the project as updates are made.
Final collar design will be completed after initial testing of the units. We have the expertise to develop and prototype the electrical design using contract manufacturers to print and assemble the boards. We will enlist subject matter experts in the area of injection mold design create a design capable of mass production based on thermoplastic injection. The thermoplastic housing provides the environmental protection for the electronics and sensors within the collar. The large breed dog collars will be completed and delivered in August 2016 after a series of prototype builds, extensive testing, an LRIP run with beta testers, and a design iterated for scaled production.
The small breed dog and cat sized Chord collars function the same as the large breed size. Based on our previous experience developing electronic technology, we are confident that we will be able to reduce the footprint while being able to retain all functionality of the large breed dog collar as we create small breed dog and cat collars. The cat collar will also have a break-away safety feature that will be able to find using your phone in the event it does break away.
All rewards will be delivered as shown in schedule above. We will ask you, our backer, to participate in the development and decisions along the way. Please join us for this trip.
Risks and challenges
We cannot fundamentally improve the way we train and care for our pets without taking bold steps. This is a large and complex endeavor. Manufacturing new products and developing software are notoriously difficult tasks to estimate. While we have all of the parts at our disposal to create Chord, the devil is in the details and we will not settle for less than we promise you.
Creating software that can adapt to the behavior and individualism of cats and dogs is challenging. Cats and dogs of different breeds are generally different from other breeds, but we know that each pet is unique and one size does not fit all from a training standpoint. We are committed to making pet wearable technology and related applications and products that allow every owner and pet to be happy and healthy with Chord. We have received great responses from the professional trainers that we have shared with during initial development and will increase our work with professional pet trainers during the Kickstarter Project to ensure that Chord can be used by a trainer and the owner, and also by an owner only using Chord Apps.
Reducing the size of the Chord collar for medium dogs and cats will not be trivial after the large dog collar is completed. We are committed to creating pet wearables, and not electronics boxes attached to a collars. Chord will be stylish, rugged, comfortable, and balanced -- in all size options. Getting the tradeoffs right becomes more difficult as size is reduced, but we are confident we will get there and deliver the best collar the world has ever seen!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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