AT&T Seeks To Expand Market, Targets Dogs

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News Posted: Sat, Mar 27 2010 3:13 PM
Considering 91% of Americans carry a cell phone, there are not a lot of new customers for wireless carriers to target. That is, unless you start considering non-human customers. That's just what AT&T has in mind with a new dog collar that can connect to the Internet.

After talking about wireless dog collars for more than a year, AT&T is almost ready to deploy a collar. The collar could send text messages or emails to a pet owner if the pet strays outside of a predefined area. It could also provide continuous tracking of the pet.


A wireless dog collar is just one of many new devices AT&T hopes will catch on and provide additional streams of revenue. Other gadgets could include a pill box that will remind you to take your medicine, ereaders, tracking devices for shipping containers, and in-car entertainment systems. By connecting these types of devices to the Internet via AT&T's network, the company expects to bring in about $1 billion in annual services revenue in about five years.

"We see opportunities in dogs, in pallets, in cars and how you take your pills," Ralph de la Vega, the head of AT&T's mobile business, said at the CTIA annual wireless trade show.

AT&T showed off a dog collar at CTIA but did not reveal a price. The carrier expects to launch the collar later this year. The dog collar was developed by Berkeley, California-based Apisphere.
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3vi1 replied on Sat, Mar 27 2010 5:29 PM

Call me heartless, but a new dog's cheaper than the collar.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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3vi1 replied on Sat, Mar 27 2010 6:07 PM

I keed, I keed!

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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Inspector replied on Sat, Mar 27 2010 7:51 PM

Lmfao 3vi1, how evil even if u keed xD

I would like that shipping tracker in packages now placed in to the shippment of the sweepstakes :P

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Super Dave replied on Sun, Mar 28 2010 12:12 AM

I'm surprised LoJack didn't offer this service first. 

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RyuGTX replied on Sun, Mar 28 2010 3:40 AM

I thought AT&T was having some issues with their network because it was being bogged down by all the data of the iPhone users. I hope they fix this before they add more products that will connect to that very same network.

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mhenriday replied on Sun, Mar 28 2010 5:29 AM

I wonder how long it will be before even two-legged creatures find themselves required to wear such collars ? O brave new world, That has such people in't !...

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"I keed, I keed!"

OK ,had to look that one up. Literally. A quote from a hand puppet from Conan, that gets turned into a rap song by a guy who names himself after a character in LOTR's?

Maybe if these collars had the ability to be shock collars as well? Then maybe you can make your dog jump like they did have someones hand up the back like Triumph :)

For any dog owners, this is a good idea.  Also, Is Lo-jack even still around?  Really, all they need is one simple text (found), and GPS.

That way when they turn into Runners, it wont be "Last Day" :)

HA!...Look that one up if you must :P

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Inspector replied on Sun, Mar 28 2010 3:07 PM

Ryu AT&T is having issues with their network being clogged up by us iphone users -.- lol, the connection is so slow so if they keep adding thing they will profit if these people don't know and jump to them and buy the product and make it even slower they already had a few more smartphones added to their slow internet collection (being the company with the most smartphones! Sad) :(

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3vi1 replied on Sun, Mar 28 2010 3:19 PM

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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aybabtu replied on Mon, Mar 29 2010 1:09 PM

I have a feeling that these devices actually transmit very little data over AT&T's network. So even if there were millions of these devices in play at the same time, the additional load on AT&T's network will be minimal. I'll bet, bandwidth-wise, one iPhone eats up many times what a dog collar or pill reminder does, probably several hundred times...

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Finally the perfect device to throw under the seat of my ex-girlfriends car.

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RyuGTX replied on Mon, Mar 29 2010 5:19 PM

aybabtu:

I have a feeling that these devices actually transmit very little data over AT&T's network. So even if there were millions of these devices in play at the same time, the additional load on AT&T's network will be minimal. I'll bet, bandwidth-wise, one iPhone eats up many times what a dog collar or pill reminder does, probably several hundred times...

 

I the OP, one of the things mentioned was an in-car entertainment system. If that means streaming movies and shows over their network via Netflix, I would think that there would be a lot of data transfer.

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After talking about wireless dog collars for more than a year, AT&T is almost ready to deploy a collar. The collar could send text messages or emails to a pet owner if the pet strays outside of a predefined area. It could also provide continuous tracking of the pet.

This seems to be a lot more practical than surgically installing a tracking device inside the animal, especially since that really breaks the bank. Having a cell phone styled collar, on the other hand, is an efficient way to locate your dog, because the collar is literally a phone that is part of your service plan.  

"We see opportunities in dogs, in pallets, in cars and how you take your pills," Ralph de la Vega, the head of AT&T's mobile business, said at the CTIA annual wireless trade show.

I wonder if de la Vega is related to Zorro by any chance =D

The only potential risk I see with this product, and all the products that AT&T wants to launch is battery life. How long will the dog's collar last between each charge, and what are the potential risks of ruing the battery if the dog somehow damages it through water exposure. 

But I'm fairly certain they have a team of R&D Engineers working on that problem. 

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