Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on May 24, 2013.
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on May 24, 2013.
Check the project updates to learn more about our re-launch! And please tell your friends about FitBark and help us spread the word about our new campaign! Don't forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram to stay up to date with announcements and rewards.
Thank you for supporting responsible dog parenting and continuing to be a part of our journey.
Keep on waggin’
- Team FitBark
Important update: FitBark is now available exclusively without monthly subscription fees. All the rewards that include the word "subscription" have been eliminated.
Why FitBark? Wouldn't it be great if dog parenting came with instructions? We always wonder whether there's a better way to stay connected with our dogs. Have you ever asked yourself: Is my dog doing alright? Is he getting the right amount of exercise today, this week or this month? Has he been walked today? What is he doing when he's home alone? Is he sleeping? How can I stay close to him when he’s sick? Is he more or less energetic than the other dogs?
What is FitBark? FitBark is a tiny, stylish, dog-bone shaped device that attaches to your dog’s collar and records physical activity 24/7. Whenever your pooch comes within the Bluetooth range of any one of the paired smartphones (owners and caretakers) or the FitBark home base (similar to a router), the information is uploaded to the FitBark system in real time, and is viewable in the FitBark mobile app by all the owners and caretakers of your dog. FitBark is super tiny (0.022 lb, or 10 grams), fashionable, comfortable and easy to put on, fits easily onto the vast majority of dog collars and is water resistant. It comes in green, light blue, fuchsia, beige, and red (we’ll ask what color you prefer at the end of the campaign).
What is the FitBark mobile app? It’s your way to feel better connected as a pet parent (even when you’re out of town!) while raising a happy, healthy dog. We calculate a daily goal for your dog, and you watch the percent counter advance throughout the day, with the background colors changing accordingly. You and other caretakers can also visualize this big dog data in hourly, daily, weekly and monthly summaries, so that you can work as a team and take action when necessary. All that data is also used to calculate the BarkScore – the number that tells you how consistently your dog has been meeting his daily goal and how well you're doing as a dog parent. Oh, and you’ll be able to answer all the other questions from the first paragraph. We like to think FitBark is Dog Parenting 2.0.
What smartphones is FitBark compatible with?
Where can I buy FitBark?
I love dogs, and I love this project! How can I help you guys?
Stay fun, stay stylish, stay responsible.
- Team FitBark
Dogster - "The device lets you track your dog's daily activity levels using your smartphone. How cool is that?"..."And the bone shape is quite handsome"
Techcrunch - "I can see how loving, caring and yes, reasonable pet owners might like to see this data about their dogs"
Mashable - "You can see exactly when a caretaker took your furry friend for a walk, and how long the walk was"
Engadget - "Sometimes it's tough for busy owners to know precisely when their furry best friend is getting enough activity"
Crunchwear - "May be the coolest piece of technology to snap around your dog’s neck since the invention of the humble collar"
The Barking Lot - "If you’re a dog lover and a device lover, I just might have the coolest thing ever for you. Enter FitBark"
Digital Trends - "It could also be used by doggy daycare providers, basically giving owners the ability to check in on their pets from time to time during the day"
Ever ask yourself:
We created FitBark to start answering all these questions, and many more.
Well, we certainly thought so. For starters, we believe that as good parents, it is our responsibility to check on our dogs as frequently as we can so that we know that they're safe and healthy. In addition, just like us, our dogs need a minimum amount of daily exercise to lead a healthy and happy life. With the FitBark device, the FitBark home base, and the accompanying mobile app, we can see how their energy level is changing at any given moment. Here is how it works:
All of FitBark’s activity data feeds into the BarkScore: the number that tells you how consistently your dog has been meeting his daily goal, and how you're doing as a dog parent.
Here's Louis (aka Sir Poopalott) wearing an early FitBark prototype while out on a morning walk. Notice the percent counter increasing as he sniffs around and marks his territories.
Note: This is unedited. The app shown is an early beta version and not what you'll actually see in the Apple Store and Google Play.
FitBark has been specially designed to fit easily onto the vast majority of dog collars. We have successfully tested it on dogs of 6 pounds and above, and collar sizes from 0.31 inch (8 mm) to 1.06 inch (27 mm) in width. However, we wouldn't be surprised if you used it happily on smaller dogs, or wider collars. Collar thickness is not usually an issue, as we include rubber bands of various sizes in the box. Check out this brief video to see how easy it is to attach FitBark to your dog's collar. You can literally move FitBark across collars in seconds.
Sized at 1.6 inch (41 mm), FitBark does not interfere with your dog’s movements, and chances are he won't even notice it. FitBark is also water-resistant, so if your dog gets wet, no sweat. How good do we feel about FitBark's design? Pretty good: collectively, our team has 15 years of experience designing, prototyping and bringing to market accessories for dogs. If you would like to see a few cool computer-generated images of FitBark, click here.
FitBark comes in five colors: green, light blue, fuchsia, beige and red. After the end of the campaign, we'll make sure to send you a quick survey so that you can specify what color you prefer.
When we started to design FitBark, we realized that one dog is generally cared for by several owners (ourselves, parents, siblings, spouse, kids etc.) and caretakers (friends, dog walker, day care etc.) who may not be all equally tech savvy. That's why we decided to keep things simple. Here's how it works:
By default, the FitBark home base spreads the love, allowing any dog wearing a FitBark device to sync up his data to our server. You can change that setting to only allow a few, selected dogs to sync up if you wish.
We would love for you to be a part of our journey! For our Kickstarter campaign only, we are offering FitBark at a discount from our final retail price. This is to show love to our initial backers.
FitBark's bone DEVICE ($99) includes the following treats:
With the FitBark wearable bone, all of the caretakers of your dog can visualize real time info on their smartphones whenever your pooch is within the Bluetooth 4.0 range of any of their phones.
FitBark’s bundle DEVICE + HOME BASE ($169) includes the following treats:
With the FitBark bundle, all of your dog's caretakers can visualize real time info on their smartphones whenever your pooch is within the Bluetooth 4.0 range of any of their phones, or of the home base.
We designed FitBark for dogs everywhere. Although we are currently planning to include a US charger in the box, you can use any standard micro USB cable to power the FitBark home base and to recharge the FitBark bone device whenever you need to.
The team at FitBark is small but growing and, shall we say, dogged in our determination. Up to this point, we have been able to create 30 fully functional prototypes (check out a FitBark come to life here) with the help of dedicated and smart folks who have put in their time and love in the past 12 months to get us to this point. If you are curious to see a few of our early prototypes, make sure to check out this Pinterest board. We are now debugging our iOS mobile app, fine-tuning our web server and learning new tricks day after day, one dog at a time. By supporting our campaign, you will give us the ability to get into mass production mode, which requires finalizing the manufacturing process, selecting the right partners to work with and acquiring additional engineering resources.
We are a diverse bunch of folks who cannot stay away from dogs & tech to save our lives. Team FitBark is proudly based in NYC, and is lucky enough to have the support of many other amazingly talented individuals from Italy and other countries. You can learn more about us here, and in the FAQs below.
The FitBark team has decades of collective experience building consumer products that revolve around technology. Because we've been down this road before, we know that there could be bumps along the way, and we've gotten pretty good at flagging technical challenges upfront to make sure that we can deliver a product that delights and satisfies users. In fact, we already have 30 working prototypes of our device.
With that said, a tech project like FitBark, which includes both hardware and software components, can be a little trickier to operate than usual. For instance, we need to ensure that we can secure all the necessary components to manufacture the devices, including the home base. But fear not! We've already been in touch with multiple suppliers so that our production targets can be met. Contingency planning is woven into not only our procurement, but all aspects of product planning and delivery.
And you can help us! By pledging to buy a FitBark, and spreading the word to your friends, we can gather more certainty on the demand, which will make it easier to work with suppliers. The greater the demand, the better price we can negotiate, and the easier it is to bring FitBark to the masses. It also helps us plan for future generations of our product (and we've got some pretty neat ideas here).
So share the love. And make sure to live life full of wag. Woof!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
FitBark has benefits to users outside of just dog owners, who can be authorized by owners to access the FitBark app. Whether you’re a dog walker or a dog caretaker, using FitBark can help you (and the dog’s owner) monitor hour by hour of the dog’s physical activity and help everyone understand if the dog has been meeting his minimum daily activity goal.
For doggy daycare providers, FitBark can be also used by dog owners to help them feel better connected with their pets when they’re away and help you demonstrate to them that their little loved ones are in good care, whether or not physical activities are a structured part of the service.
If you are involved in a rescue, we raise our paws to salute you! FitBark can be a useful tool for you guys too by helping you visually identify patterns and trends into each rescue’s daily physical behavior and aid you in understanding how each dog is progressing towards a safe and healthy lifestyle.
We are always looking to see if we can make FitBark more beneficial (and fun) for anyone who loves dogs, so please feel free to contact us with further suggestions and ideas.
Well, not exactly. We are developing FitBark from the ground up and designing it for dog parents, and the unique relationship they share with their pets. While there are a wide variety of wearable fitness products for people and dogs, in our humble opinion, we don’t think any of them promotes positive and fun pet parenting the way it should be. We think that our relationship with our dogs is not about counting steps and calories, but more about staying connected to them, and getting insights into their energy levels in a more personal way, which doesn’t really exist today. We like to think of FitBark as Pet Parenting 2.0 - a new way to elevate our relationship with our dogs using today’s technology.
Great question! When we designed FitBark, our goal was to feel connected with our pets at all times, rather than attempt to reconnect with them only after they get lost. This is why we designed FitBark's experience as something that is dynamic and that has use throughout the day. In addition, adding a GPS would have made FitBark significantly larger, heavier, and unwieldy for smaller dogs - not to mention that it would have greatly reduced battery life.
BarkScore tells you how consistently your dog has been meeting his daily goal, and how you're doing as a dog parent. It gives you full credit when the percent counter reaches 100%, but it doesn't give you extra credit when it exceeds 100%. Want to increase BarkScore? Shoot for green!
Team FitBark is a diverse bunch of folks who cannot stay away from dogs & tech to save their lives.
http://www.daviderossi.com/ is passionate about three things: technology, dogs and hot chocolate. Working on FitBark has managed to satisfy his appetite for all three. During his earlier years at MIT, he probably didn't figure that he'd be covered in dog hair while shooting dog videos; guess some guys have all the luck! Prior to dogs & tech, he also had an obsession with cars. From designing engines for http://www.ferrari.com/ to co-founding a http://www.brmmodelcars.com/, this guy definitely pursues whatever is on his heart. He belongs to Freud, a Yorkshire that he shares with his sister Sara.
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/sara-rossi/14/51a/918 believes that tech products should make life easier and touch people (as well as dogs). She is new to New York but has already seen her fair share of dog parks (if you figure out why US dogs say "woof" rather than "bau", please let her know). Sara has a creative flair which she refined working with brands such as Schick and Hawaiian Tropic in Italy. Sara also belongs to Freud, source of inspiration for life as well as for FitBark's design.
http://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelchiang89/ is a dog entrepreneur who works out of dog runs and comes up with the best excuses for "being late". He previously founded a web startup called http://matchpuppy.com/, a dog-dating site that helps owners and their dogs find new friends locally. In addition to chucking down hot chocolates mixed with shots of Macallan, Michael also volunteers on the weekends with Mighty Mutts, his favorite animal rescue in NYC. Hear him bark about dogs and other random stuff on twitter at https://twitter.com/iammikechiang.
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/arie-abecassis/8/101/5b8 loves to see tech ideas come to life. Though he has spent much of his career helping build products that are focused on people, this is a welcome diversion. He has spent a lot of time recently hanging out with dogs, and can't seem to be able to stop himself from coming up with catchy (and not so catchy) dog tag-lines. In dogs we trust -- oops, did it again.
http://www.linkedin.com/in/fafilippini is addicted to connecting hardware and software to create the best possible user experience (or dog experience, truth be told). Fabrizio and his team at Trovare have previously created the http://www.amicobracelets.com/ bracelet, a stylish wearable device that helps you connect with relevant people in real life. Fabrizio is a technology manager with a love for dogs (slightly forced by being allergic to cats). He is fluent in Peruvian, Argentinian, Uruguayan, Colombian, and Spanish from Spain. He can curse at you using 3 languages in the same sentence (without even realizing it).
Black Bob is a mad scientist and dog-addicted who loves to spend his time playing with accelerometers and walking his dog (not mutually exclusive). He also loves to hack on embedded devices when his family allows him to do so, which usually happens overnight. Most of his career has been focused on cranking together impossible features on limited hardware. Sometimes he succeeds. (Editorial note: Black Bob is also a rather modest genius who has helped build some of the sexiest and sleekest tech products on earth).
Team FitBark is proudly based in NYC, and is lucky enough to have the support of many other amazingly talented individuals from Italy and other countries. You can learn about us at www.fitbark.com.
We contemplate manufacturing the FitBark device and home base enclosures with the help of http://www.brmmodelcars.com/, a leading manufacturer of 1:24 slot cars and 1:43 static model car accessories based in Italy and started in 2003 by Davide, one of our co-founders. We feel that BRM's reputation as to quality and attention to details is a terrific fit with FitBark's overall mission.
At this stage, we plan to continue manufacturing FitBark's electronics in the US. Higher volumes might prompt us to consider if it makes sense to source certain components from Asia.
At this time, FitBark is water resistant. In other words, it can withstand the effects of splashes, rain, snow and other wet weather, but it should not be submerged in water.
- (35 days)