“We started working on Kyon about two and a half years ago with a small team of engineers,” creatorFounder Leon Yohai told Digital Trends. “I have a Maltese named Charlie, and I wanted to be able to communicate with him. Small dogs don’t communicate as well as larger breeds, so I wanted to know when he needed to go out, if he was too hot, if he was too cold – I wanted to know exactly what was going on with him.”
The collar’s sensors and chips include a 9-axis accelerometer, an altimeter, heat sensor, water sensor, GPS, GSM, and ultrasound buzzer. Kyon also has an LED display, and is Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled so the collar can work in tandem with the base station and the Kyon mobile app. These embedded technologies facilitate some of the key pet protecting features of the collar, like finding your pet when it’s lost, avoiding heat stroke, and preventing dog fights.
Using Kyon starts with the mobile app. Pet owners can design specific home ranges on a map display so that any time a pet leaves home, the system knows it has run away. The collar communicates with the base station that stays in your home, and any time you take your pet for a walk, your cell phone in your pocket (with the Kyon mobile app) becomes a beacon for the collar to register that the dog is safe. The app also lets users program important dates as notifications, like regular vet visits and walking or medication reminders.
Over 10 million pets get lost every year, according to Yohai and Kyon’s research into creating the collar. A Vodafone microchip allows the Kyon collar to be active in 120 countries around the world. Through a roaming agreement that is transparent to the user, Vodafone’s GSM chip is activated anytime your dog leaves the designated range. In the US alone, the agreement supports over 200 different cellular carriers including AT&T and TMobile. The GPS, GSM, and altimeter work to keep updates coming to your mobile app so you can find your pet, all while displaying a customizable “lost dog” message on the collar’s LED display.
Since hundreds of thousands of pets suffer from heat stroke each year, the Kyon collar also includes a heat sensor that can identify temperature danger zones specific to any breed of dog. “Certain breeds of dogs can die within ten minutes in normal temperatures, like boxers or bulldogs that can’t breathe normally in temperatures of even 100 degrees Fahrenheit, ” Yohai told us. If your dog is alone or stuck in the car when temperatures get too hot, you’ll get notifications directly to your phone. The collar works the same way with the water sensor, so if your pet falls into the swimming pool, the IP68 waterproof collar notifies your phone so you can come to the rescue.
Pacifier mode is another feature of the collar that is dear to Yohai’s heart: “My dog Charlie is paralyzed from a fight that I couldn’t prevent because it happened very fast. I think one in every three dog owners has had an accident like that.” If dogs start getting loud or barking aggressively, the collar emits a high frequency sound that some humans can barely hear, but that will get all dogs to back away and calm down.
The Kyon collar weighs 2.1 ounces and is adjustable to fit dogs and cats over 7 pounds with 10-20 inch necks. Because it can resist about 60 pounds of force, Kyon can still function as a regular collar with larger dogs who pull on their leashes. The base station that serves as a beacon for the collar’s safe region while at home is also a charging dock. Yohai and his team of engineers worked to get the collar’s battery life from ten days at the start, up to 30 full days before needing to recharge. “Once a month, you just have to place the collar on the docking station for a few hours to get a full charge, and that’s it.” Yohai also told us that the finished collar and all its sensors have been fully tested and are ready for production.
Kyon will launch a Kickstarter campaign on March 1st to help spread the word and also determine how many units to order form their manufacturer. Other than whatever perks are offered through Kickstarter next week, the Kyon collar is expected to retail for $249 with an additional monthly fee of $4.99 to service GMS microchip functionality around the world. Yohai believes that being able to find your dog when it is lost is more than worth the monthly fee: “We created this collar to make a difference. Most dogs run away at some time in their life – we believe being able to find your lost pet is an essential part of the Kyon collar.”