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Digital Pet Collar Makes Finding Fido Easy
By Brad Frischkorn

Pet owners will be able to rest easier at night as LED technology lightens the job of keeping track of their beloved animals.

Korean startup Neo Pop is helping to lead the pack with its wearable, waterproof, bendable and programmable LED strip. The new collar allows owners to list important emergency information about their pet right on its surface in case the animal goes astray.

The patented unit weighs about 22 grams and has a battery life of 20 hours, rechargeable via micro-USB port. Numerals and text are input onto the collar via a downloadable app on the company's website. English and Japanese language inputs are also possible. Available colors include silver, gold, pink, and sky blue.

Neo Pop CEO Seo Young Jin introduced the collar for the first time in Japan at the April Interpets Asia Pacific exposition in Tokyo.

"The concept is pretty simple: to increase animal safety when natural light is unavailable," he says. "Pet owners who like to take their animals outside after sundown can be more confident, especially in high traffic areas where space is also shared with bicycles and other new gadgets that may or may not come with their own lights, such as hoverboards and skateboards."

Sales for the collar have already begun in Korea; the company is looking for partners to help with bringing it to Japan and Australia. The retail price is expected to be around $60.

"It's a bit of a luxury item, yes, but Japanese owners are known to dote on their pets. We think the collar fits within their taste," adds Mr. Jin.

Japanese preferences aside, the global pet product industry is nothing to sniff at; the U.S. market, where pet ownership has tripled since the 1970s, is worth some $57 billion per year. Data show that over one-third of American households that keep dogs give them birthday presents.

Markets in other countries are also growing as more cultures have come to regard companion animals as family members. China's pet industry in particular has begun to boom over the last five years, helped by the country's ongoing economic development and rising disposable income. New pet legislation has helped; dog licensing fees have recently been lowered from $285 to just $42 per year, notes abouthome.com, a consumer product evaluation site. Three of the top five global pet food companies are Chinese.

Meanwhile, India is expected to grow at a 10% to 15% annual rate in coming years, and will eventually become a leading supplier of pet products around the world, according to a Euromonitor report.

Read more:






Neo Pop digital pet collar

“Japanese (pet) owners are known to dote on their pets. We think the (digital) collar fits within their taste." -- Seo Young Jin

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