Thursday, February 2, 2017

Dog Tech: Pod3 Announced!

Pod has finally announced an updated version of the Pod Tracker! It's about damned time!  Pod 3 is being funded via Kickstarter (<- this is an affiliate link), and the new features are many and varied. In fact, there are way more options than I ever expected, because Pod has departed from pet tracking and entered the world of modular GPS trackers.
Photo by Erin Koski

Phenomenal Technological Power, Itty Bitty Package

I got to play with a Pod 2 at SuperZoo 2016, and I was very impressed. Compared to Whistle, this thing is super tiny. It comes with two batteries so you can always have a charged one ready to go, instead of taking the tracker off your pet for a few hours. My only qualm with the Pod 2 was that it uses 2G cellular technology that is rapidly becoming obsolete. The new Pod 3?
  • 3G cellular tracking
  • WiFi
  • Bluetooth
  • GPS

Not Just For Pets?

Pod 3 isn't intended to just be a pet tracker, and that...kinda doesn't sit well with me. Most of the information and new features advertised have nothing at all to do with pets. Like, it's great that Pod3 can be used for your boat or motorcycle or golf clubs, but I'm concerned that these new applications will mean less focus on the original purpose of the device. Who needs a suite of new dog features when there are yachts to track, right? I love pet wearables and smart devices for dogs, but this is looking more and more like an all-purpose GPS tracker that can be used for pets.


The biggest addition to the Pod Tracker is the new interchangeable modules. You can customize your tracker to suit your needs, and change the features instantly.
  • Sound Module: Produces a loud beep so you can locate your pet/stuff/whatever
  • Ultrasonic Module: Produces a high-frequency sound triggered remotely, so basically a remote collar module for dog training.
  • Light Module: Produces a bright light that can shine steadily or flash, to help with night visibility, or to help you find your boat.
  • Power Dock Module: Plug your Pod into a USB power jack for continuous power. This is for boats and motorcycles and stuff, or at least my dogs didn't come equipped with power jacks.
  • XL Battery Module: Adds more battery life.

New Direction

I guess my concern is that Pod might stop being a pet tracker. At least, Pod 3 seems to be less of a pet tracker and more of a stuff tracker. This seems like such an awesome company, so I'm a bit sad that they are going in this direction because it seems there will be less resources devoted to developing the pet tracking aspects. When a niche product becomes an everything product, it makes sense that there will be less attention paid to the original niche. I could be wrong, but the Kickstarter page for the Pod 3 makes me feel less confident in this product.

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