Earlier this month, Volkswagen released a commercial about their “new” app, the Connected Dog. The idea stemmed from their My Volkswagen app that allows drivers to control elements of their vehicle remotely.
Using the Connected Dog app, owners will no longer need to be present to walk their dog. Through the app, they can unlock their doggy dog and track their pup using GPS and a live video feed. During the walk, owners can give their dog location-specific voice commands and reward them for good behavior.
The video never explicitly says that it is a joke, but it’s pretty clear that Volkswagen has not created a product called the Connected Dog. However, the idea is not that far-fetched. A glance at today’s newest technology reveals a large segment of the market dedicated to dog-influenced products.
Go to any pet store or do a quick Google search and you’ll see countless new technology dedicated to dogs. It appears that many of these “new” items are existing products that have been adapted so our dogs can enjoy them with us.
Just like you have Skype and FaceTime to video chat with your friends, you can now communicate with your dogs while you’re away. Developers realized that these conversations might be a little more one-sided than those with your human buddies, so they’ve tweaked the products to better facilitate communication between owner and pet. With products like Pet Chatz and Petcube, not only can you video chat your dog, you can play with them and even feed them treats — straight from your smartphone.
There are even products that let your dog join in on your fitness routine. Fitness trackers like the FitBark allow you to monitor how much exercise your dog is getting. Products like these are great if your four-legged friend needs to lose a few pounds, but they’re also designed to help owners stay active. They even play on your competitive side, allowing you to compare your dog’s activity to that of their canine friends.
New dog-centered technology is being developed every day, and each new idea is more futuristic than the last. We’re serious — don’t be surprised if something hits stores soon that allows your dog to talk to you!
These new developments in technology are exciting, but do dogs really want or need them? Probably not. It may be that we’re projecting onto dogs that same need we feel to connect with our fellow humans 24/7 using technology.
This advanced level of connectivity isn’t necessarily a bad thing though. Many owners feel that the use of these dog-centric technologies actually helps them to build a stronger bond with their pooch. Whether or not you’re interested in these new technologies, you can’t help but admit that there have never been more options to enhance the relationships between dogs and their owners. Still, at the end of the day, we prefer a good old-fashioned in-person snuggle.