In recent years we’ve seen an incredible increase in pet ownership in US homes with the advent of “pandemic puppies” and the rise of working from home. Now that many professionals are returning to the office or resuming their pre-pandemic lifestyles, there is an undeniable rise and demand for pet safety devices.
I recently spoke to Ken Ehrman, CEO of Halo Collar, pet tech’s next-generation wireless GPS dog security system and latest disruptor. He developed a wireless fence where you simply draw the invisible fence boundaries on your phone and use the accompanying GPS enabled dog collar to keep your pet safe within a defined perimeter. Ken is a technology and security visionary who has spent more than 25 years driving IoT security innovation. He has more than 30 patents that have revolutionized efficiency and worker safety for the world’s largest and most demanding companies such as Avis, Walmart, Toyota, United Airlines and Procter & Gamble. He is now using this expertise to provide world-class safety solutions to dogs and dog lovers everywhere.
Gary Drenik: Pet ownership in US households has increased tremendously and the pet technology market is booming. How is Halo Collar disrupting this $20 billion pet tech market to protect dogs?
Ken Ehrman: As you have already noticed, the pet technology market is growing rapidly. Halo Collar replaces the need for a traditional invisible fence that uses an underground wire with a technology solution that is easier to use and safer. The virtual fences are stored directly in the collar and are created by you with our app by simply drawing the perimeter with your finger. There is no way to escape a halo fence as the fence resides in your dog’s collar and is carried everywhere. And your dog is safe even without a WiFi or cellular connection. The collar’s GPS works anywhere, even in the most remote locations. Using positive reinforcement and proven built-in training from world-renowned canine behaviorist Cesar Millan, the collar protects your dog in the home with nothing to install. And it works just as well anywhere—even in remote locations—whether you’re in the park, at the beach, or just parked your RV. Unlike anything else on the market, the Halo collar also offers intelligent training, an activity tracker and most importantly, it gently guides your dog to stay within the limits you set in the smartphone app, so your dog is always protected and can live a safe life without a leash.
To date, the Halo Collar is the only technology in the industry that automatically downloads daily location data to improve GPS accuracy and allows you to create up to 20 wireless fences in the app with just a few taps so you can track your you can take your dog with you everywhere.
drenik: 10 million pets are lost in the US every year. That seems like a really high number, what are we doing wrong as pet owners?
Ehrman: Exactly. Despite all the technological advances for humans, dogs have fallen by the wayside. Millions of dogs are lost to automobiles or even killed with fences and leashes every year, and in a crowded pet technology market, the question of why this is happening still lingers. Man is responsible for the welfare of his dogs. According to a recent survey by Prosper Insights & Analytics, 20% of dog owners use Apple Watches for themselves.
The same survey showed that 51% of dog owners use their smartphone for entertainment purposes. The question is, if we can use these apps and devices for ourselves, why can’t we do the same for our own dog’s wellbeing and safety?
drenik: I can’t imagine letting my dog roam free without a leash or fence, how can I be sure he’s not in danger?
Ehrman: Dogs need rules, boundaries and restrictions. Halo makes it easy to create those boundaries wherever you go and communicate them to your dog in a way he understands. The collar communicates with your dog via customizable prevention feedback given at just the right time. The collar remembers the fences you create and continuously calculates when your dog approaches the boundary to tell him to turn around. As soon as they stop or reverse, the feedback stops. If your dog has left a fence, the Halo will even use a rescue whistle to get him to safety. The collar uses highly accurate GPS and GNSS tracking to keep dogs safe and sends you their real-time location over Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and cellular so you can always see where they are.
drenik: How did you come up with the idea of protecting pets with IoT technology?
Ehrman: With over 25 years of experience in the IoT space, I wanted to put my expertise to good use to help fellow pet owners. I was inspired to create Halo Collar in 2017 after my niece’s dog, Ruby, escaped from her invisible fence and was hit by a car. After researching the issue, I was amazed at the number of dogs lost, injured, or killed in traffic accidents each year. When I saw my nieces’ pain, I knew I wanted to solve this problem – and I had the experience and skills to prevent it from happening again.
Now Halo Collar uses IoT technology to save dogs’ lives. The Halo collar replaces the need to install an invisible fence as the technology is held directly in the collar and does not require continuous Wi-Fi or cellular connections. Halo Collar protects over 100,000 dogs in the United States every day, giving each dog the freedom to live an off-leash life while giving pet owners peace of mind that their dogs are safe within the boundaries they set for them. We’re seeing people across the country leading more ephemeral lifestyles and wanting to take their dogs with them. With Halo, you can do this safely and with confidence.
drenik: How did Cesar Millan get involved and what role does training play in dog safety?
Ehrman: I knew I needed Cesar Millan, the world’s most renowned canine behaviorist, known for his “natural, simple and profound” approach to canine psychology, to join the Halo team. I spent four years with Cesar and seeing his commitment to canine safety and freedom was critical to Halo’s success. He knows dogs and people so well. Not only did Cesar help create the in-app Halo collar dog training program, but he was also involved in the design, which he genuinely believes is the best for pet parents and dogs. The Halo app includes Cesar’s 4-step training program, plus premium lessons and live sessions with expert trainers. People across the country can now access his methods and techniques, and have technology that amplifies them even when they are away from home.
drenik: Thanks Ken for your insights and time. Many dogs have helped us get through the pandemic and I know many pet owners would agree it’s time to pay them back and give them the reassurance they deserve.