NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - If dogs could talk, what would they tell us?
It's the age-old question every pet owner has wondered about, and one which a new start-up claims they can answer.
"Dogs do speak, and they speak with their own language. Their body is their language," says Yannis Tsampalis. He argued that language is spoken through the dog's tail, and said his DogStar Life "Smartband" can help dog owners decode it.
"What we are doing is pretty much capturing that movement of their tail and we are translating to the emotions that humans can understand," he explained.
Tsampalis knows a thing or two about wearables - he helped build Verizon's line of wearable products for humans.
The "Smartband" is a rubber band that dog owners attach to their dog's tails.
"It has technology inside and the same components as a smart watch or fitness tracker," Tsampalis explained, "It monitors your dog’s tail wagging movements. We will be able to tell you if your dog is excited, if he's happy, scared, or just resting."
The DogStar Life band is still in beta testing and will go to market later this year for about $99. It pairs with an app via Bluetooth to give real-time information. The product is part of a burgeoning category of "pet wearables" which let us humans track everything from their mood to location, fitness and sleep cycles. According to market research firm IDTechEx, spending in the category is expected to reach $900,000,000 by 2019
Aubrey Sabala is among those buying in.
"I quantify my own activity with steps, it's only natural I do Langley's as well," said Sabala.
Two-year-old Landley wears a whistle, a fitness tracker of sorts for dogs that also has a GPS function.
"I have set a goal of 30 minutes a day of activity for him, so it will send me an alert that he's already reached that goal, it sends me alerts that he's hit the goal 3 or 4 days in a row," Sabala explained.
In addition to the initial $99 investment for the device, Aubrey pays a monthly subscription fee for the Whistle app, and said it's worth every penny.
"It just gave me the peace of mind to know he was getting what he needed to for his energy level," she said.
Link AKC is one of the newest arrivals on the "smart collar" scene.
Chief Marketing Officer Herbie Calves described it as "The same way you would get your middle kid or younger kid a cell phone to be able to know what they're up to and be able to contact them, that's how this product is positioned."
The collar won a "Best of Innovation" award at this year's Consumer Electronics Show. It tracks the dog's fitness, location, and even sends the temperature of the dog's environment.
"The product actually gets smarter the more you use the app, it understands what modern intense activity is for that type of dog and your dog in particular," Calves said.
The tan leather collar charges on a docking station, and has a built-in light and sound that can aid in training. The accompanying app also lets users keep a scrapbook of sorts of the dog's adventures.
All that for a starting price of $149, one Calves believes dog parents will be all-too-willing to fork over.
"When you look at what consumers are spending on their dogs, for dog walkers, for dog health insurance, a number of different categories," he said, "The acceptance is great."