FitBark is a tiny wearable bone that fosters an active lifestyle and guides you through the amazing journey of pet parenting.
Use this space to cheer the creator along, and talk to your fellow backers.
Have a question?
Thank you for barking at us, Nick.
Other than sheer size (many GPS trackers are 3-5 times as heavy and bulky, and don't play at all with small size dogs), the idea for us is to design a mobile experience that is all about being in touch with your dog and being devoted dog parents. Ideally, ours is an app that you will want to interact with multiple times a day. Also, thanks Justin - we have no subscription fees, and FitBark works worldwide (contrarily to the GPS products, it's not attached to a phone carrier). Please refer to the FAQ for additional information.
Davide and team FitBark
This doesn't charge you $8/month
How is this better than the Tagg Pet Tracker? It does activity monitoring and GPS location
Hi Chris, we just added a section in the FAQ that explains how BarkScore is calculated. Input about your dog's breed, weight etc. is required when you register a new dog in the app, so that we can calculate his minimum recommended daily goal.
You can have a great FitBark experience even without the home base. Whenever the wearable bone is within the range of the smartphone of any of the owners or caretakers of your dog, you can check on him and download all the past activity data (even after a week!). Otherwise, as soon as you get home or reunite with your dog, you can quickly check all that has happened during the day, hour by hour. Please refer to the vertical yellow hourly chart on the mobile app screenshots.
We did not include a Wi-Fi module in the FitBark device because it would have dramatically decreased battery life, and there's not way to connect to your Wi-Fi router without the home base.
How is the BarkScore calculated? I just backed for device only and was curious how it knows if my dog is exercising enough given that there's so many types. Will it ask for breed, size, weight and additional info to adjust the algorithm to give me a fairly accurate score?
Also, without home base, I wouldn't be able to keep tabs on my dog right unless a smartphone was nearby that's authorized? It wouldn't be able to connect to my home router somehow?
The removal of the monthly fees made this worth it. I don't think I'd even be interested in recieving one as a gift under a subscription model. I already have far too many subscriptions to deal with, I really wasn't interested in another one. Good call guys!!!
Hello James, thank you for such a thoughtful message!
Great to hear that you would like to support us in Australia. Here are a few comments for you.
- Subscription. As of today, we have removed the monthly fees. Hope you appreciate this.
1) Interesting idea. We might give it a shot, but outside of the scope of this campaign.
2) We are working on improving battery life beyond 10 days. We like to be conservative in our estimates, and we also are lucky enough to have a couple of talented engineers who are working on battery efficiency. Hope we will get there soon.
3) We surely envision the vet community as one of our primary distribution channels. This is in line with the feedback we are receiving from our vet friends who have been working closely with us.
- We are now offering the FitBark stand alone device without the home base. In reality, the two components are completely independent and can both be powered (or recharged, in the case of the device) through a standard micro USB cable.
Thank you for barking at us, James! Hope you will help us spread the love.
Best, Davide and team FitBark
Hey FitBark people, wonderful project! I was so close to ordering 100, and then I ordered 0 (for now). I am in contact with a number of vets here in Australia who deal with overweight dogs on a daily basis and who would pay between $100 to $200 for a device (or perhaps with the vet purchasing for $300 and loaning them out for a 1 to 3 month period). Here's why I'm not (yet) buying:
Subscription. No way, this means ongoing costs and at any time if you decide to increase your prices or go out of business, my FitBark becomes a paperweight. Also I have to lend a strange company my credit card details on a permanent basis. I say this not as a consumer, but as someone who would have to sell these things to customers.
Also, I have a multitude of ideas to get this device so it is much simpler and effective:
1) Have either a small LCD that turns on by tapping, or a small eInk/ePaper display (very low power consumption) that permanently displays: "Today's exercise score" "Last 30 days average score", with some kind of flashing alert if it is 6pm and it seems as though you're not going to hit your daily target. This is going to be accessible to literally 10x the number of people, as a lot of dog lovers are technology phobic, and even the ones that are good with technology are much more likely to respond to a stimulus that is literally there when patting their dog rather than requiring them to load an app to guilt themselves. Targets could be configured / checked by the vet every month or quarterly to greatly increase compliance.
2) Battery life needs to be longer than 2 weeks, if necessary incorporate cells into a range of collars or put inductive charging in the food bowl or bed. The people who own dogs who need checking up on are likely to leave the dead device uncharged, especially after the first few weeks. By having the display you may be able to eliminate much of the battery drain anyway from having either no wireless or just on-demand wireless (or even synchronization through the inductive charging).
3) This is a product that screams out for being sold direct to vets, as these are the guys who are always trying to encourage owners to save / extend their dogs lives / quality of life, and struggling. A fat unhealthy dog always ends up at the vet, where fees are expensive and the owner is forced to deal with the consequences, and these are the dogs you can help the most! I'm happy to be your advocate down in Australia as I strongly believe in this issue.
There are other little gimmicks that will help you sell this device - if you keep the wireless a beeping sound on the collar via BT4 that tells your dog to come home for a treat, or an emergency mode if your dog wanders too far that helps you locate him using the BT4 signal strength, kinetic charging using the dogs own motion or integration with fitbit so you and your dog can do an "FitBit/FitBark exercise challenge" together. But my core advice is: No subscription, get a display, increase battery life (even if that costs wireless functionality) and get these sold through vets. Also I'm not terribly clear on the "base station", but my instincts say 'this can probably just charge/sync through USB, and I don't need yet another device cluttering up my home', and this may help you get the device down to that key $99 price-mark and get you profitable without subscription.
Good luck guys, I believe in you and your product!
Hi AHA and Grant, thank you for backing us! We are thrilled to share our journey with you.
Regarding monthly subscription and US plug, we added a few notes to the project description (please see "How pricing works" and "Does FitBark work outside of the United States").
The see-through versions are prototypes that we built using a different 3D printing technology. At this time, we plan on offering only the opaque version.
Sara and team FitBark
Hi Folks, concept looks great, some questions. The 3 month subscription included in the $99 pleadge level, what does that cover? How much is the ongoing subscription (monthly or yearly)? Will the system work without a current subscription? I am presuming the Base station will be on a US Plug - will it work on 240V (Australia) or just grab a plug adapter? I also note there are opaque versions and see-through version in the pics, is that an option we can choose later?
Love this idea and the device looks great! I can't wait for my FitBark to arrive.