We started by thinking about what dogs do, how they live and what concerns their
owners. We then looked at how new and emerging technologies could help deal with
this problem and spent a year researching the problems and potential solutions.
We demonstrated the mapping and tracking technology at Crufts in 2007 and spoke
with many people who had experienced a missing or stolen dog.
It was only then that we stated to design the collar to incorporate all of the features
needed by dog owners and revealed the results at Crufts in 2008. Since then the
collar has been featured on the front page on The Times, in most other national
newspapers, the BBC and other TV channels, and the media all around the world. Whilst
we are very proud of what we have achieved it has been created and designed by listening
to what domestic and professional dog owners want.
The collar and the ICyou™ charging system work together to monitor your dog’s whereabouts,
alerting you if they leave home unexpectedly and telling you where they are. If
your dog were to escape or be removed from your garden the "ICYou" monitoring system
would notify you. The tracking technology is automatically activated and you can
get the location data by requesting it with a text message from your phone or via
the mapping site on the internet. Whilst walking your dog the collar will automatically
calculate its own position, and provided that you are comfortable that your dog
has not wandered off, will simply continue to maintain this information. If the
dog were to disappear then you can ask the collar where it is and it will tell you.
Locating a lost dog or one that has escaped can be done in 4 simple ways:
1. By phone using Google Maps.
For internet enabled phones including iPhones and Android phones
using Google Maps/Google Earth.
2. By phone using Viewranger Ordnance Survey mapping software.
3. Using your computer and the internet.
Some dogs are able to enjoy a fairly free existence but it's good to know where
they are or where they have been on their travels. So, from your home or office
you can "see" where your dog is.
4. Using your phone to track the dog live on ViewRanger
software showing it on either freely downloadable satellite mapping or traditional
What is the "ICYou™"?
The ICYou is the "intelligent charging unit" – a power management and recharging
base station that knows when your dog is close by and therefore safe.
We created this with three things in mind:
This unique system is designed to provide a very local link and a safe environment
for the collar, but most importantly to switch off the collar when it is within
a safe zone, thereby saving battery power. It can also trigger an alert if the tracker
leaves the safe area.
The range of the ICYou is approximately 100 metres radius, but this can vary depending
on physical location, thickness of walls etc. The range can be extended by pairing
the collar with more than one ICYou unit or simply relocating the unit to give better
coverage (e.g. upstairs).
As there are variables in the range over which the ICYou technology works, it is
important that you test your collar and ICYou unit to establish a working range
for your own needs.
Is the ICYou portable?
It is and you can create the safe zone wherever you take the ICYou and plug it in.
So this will provide you with the additional protection if you were to take your
dog on holiday or to visit friends or relatives. Once plugged in at the new location
the local safety area will be in place.
It is important to note that in this new location the range may differ slightly
to the coverage at your own home.
Some people use an ICYou at home and at work, others have one located in the house
and another in an out-building which then extends the local range.
What tracking technologies does it use?
It is unique amongst retail tracking products in having 3 technologies: GPS (SatNav),
GSM (mobile telecom) and RF (Radio Frequency). It uses them to create an overlapping
and mutually reinforcing system to monitor and track your dog. No other dog tracking
system uses three technologies.
How long will the battery last?
There is no exact answer to the battery life as it depends on type of usage. For
In "normal" usage: defined as a dog walked twice a day for an hour total, the battery
will need recharging every 5-7 days.
If the collar is in high power usage “track” mode, with all technology switched
and the collar reporting every 10 seconds, from full charge the battery will last
from 18-24 hours.
For some very specialist uses, we also have the ability to put the technology into
a deep sleep, waking up once a day to record and provide location data. In this
mode the battery can last up to 4 months.
Of course the important thing is that the device will advise you by text when it
The collar is lockable.
Of course you don’t have to lock the collar and we also produce a quick release
clip for working dogs.
The webbing is made with unique anti-cut webbing.
On many occasions people have tried to cut the webbing at various trade shows and
Crufts, but no-one has been able to do so. You should also note that trying to cut
a collar held in your hand should be far easier than one on a dog that isn’t likely
to know the person attempting it.
The collar contains a tamper alert system that sends a text message to you if anybody
tries to interfere with the lock or tries to cut the webbing.
There is no substitute for best practise in minimising your dog’s vulnerability
to theft. For advice and further information please see
www.dogtheftaction.co.uk or www.doglost.co.uk
*Of course you don’t have to lock the collar and we also produce a quick release
clip for working dogs.
**On many occasions people have tried to cut the webbing at various trade shows
and Crufts, but no-one has been able to do so. You should also note that trying
to cut a collar held in your hand should be far easier than one on a dog that isn’t
likely to know the person doing it.
There is no substitute for best practise in minimising your dog’s vulnerability
to theft. For advice and further information please see www.dogtheftaction.co.uk or www.doglost.co.uk
My dog is chipped, so why would I need a Retrieva collar?
We believe that all dogs should be chipped.
However microchips are identification tags that are implanted under the skin that
identify the owner. Recovering a lost dog with a chip relies on the goodwill of
whoever has found the dog to return it to someone with a scanner. The microchip
needs to be read by an electronic scanner which is generally used by vets, dog wardens,
kennels or the police to confirm the ownership of the dog.
If a dog gets lost or escapes, the chip will not tell the owner where their dog
is, - the Retrieva™ collar will.
Why can’t this technology be implanted?
A tracking system needs to be able send and receive telecom and satellite signals
and can only do this if it has a power source (battery) which can be recharged or
replaced. It is therefore not practical to implant this type of technology.
How many dogs are lost or stolen each year?
These figures are particularly hard to verify as a dog stolen from a car might be
considered car crime rather than dog theft, and a lost dog can include those that
go missing for a couple of hours as well as those that are never found again. However
a survey by Sainsbury’s bank in July 2006 estimated that 270 dogs are stolen every
day in the UK (98,550 each year), and many more simply go missing. It is reasonable
to assume that the total number of missing or stolen dogs is at least in the region
of 150,000 per year.
The Retrieva tracking collar has been designed specifically for dogs with comfort
and safety in mind. It is not an unsightly box threaded onto a collar - but is ergonomically
designed to the shape of a dog’s neck. It is adjustable; come in several sizes (minimum
neck size 34cm / 13inches) and acts as an ordinary collar that can have a lead attached.
The collar offers great technical advantages by allowing the GPS (Satnav) appropriate
antenna to be sky facing for maximum performance rather than hanging under the dog’s
neck away from the signal.
Waterproof or shower proof?
It pays to read the small print, and yes, there is a big difference. Some products
described as "waterproof" are not recommended for dogs that like to swim. What they
really mean is that the dog can wear it in the rain. The Retrieva collar is designed
to comply with IP67. This means it is protected against dust and can be totally
immersed in water up to a metre in depth – in other words ideal for Labradors, Retrievers,
Spaniels and other keen swimmers. It’s no good having to tell your lost dog to stay
away from the water!
As an electronic retail product it has to comply with a strict set of European and
International safety standards. Furthermore, because the collar only switches itself
on when it has to it is ‘live’ for far less time than any similar product.
How 'technological' will I need to be to use the collar?
Over the last year we have simplified the processes used to locate your dog. The
collar is controlled by your mobile phone or through the web based mapping panel.
So if you can use a mobile phone or a computer you will be able to use the Retrieva
We recognise that technology is only a tool that can keep your dog safe. We have
tried to keep the process of setting up and using the collar and tracking system
as simple as possible. It can send alert messages to a number of phones and so can
notify family and friends as well as you if there is a problem or alert.
Why is there a red 'panic' button?
No matter how clever your dog is it is unlikely that it will ever be able to press
the panic button! However, because we know that your dog needs you as much as you
need them we thought it would be a good idea to have a mechanism for you to seek
help. Many dogs are owned and walked by people who may occasionally feel vulnerable
such as children, single women or more elderly people.
Dogs are often walked in remote areas, woodland, or along tracks. It is easy to
get yourself lost, or slip and hurt yourself, or meet someone that makes you feel
uncomfortable or threatened. Pressing this button will send an alert message to
the other numbers you have programmed into the collar. It will also send your location
and you will be able to see from flashing lights on the collar that the alert message
has been received.
What is the yellow button for?
This is the system test button.
It will illuminate the three LED indicator lights just above the button when pressed.
These lights represent the battery level, GPS signal strength and GSM signal strength.
This allows the user to assess the performance of the device locally. If all the
lights are green then the signal strength is good and locked on; amber is not so
good, but possibly still functional, and red is a sign that there is no signal in
the area or battery power is low.
Will the collar fit all dogs?
The collar comes in several adjustable sizes but is not suitable for very small
or slender dogs with necks of less than about 13.5 inches, about 36cm.
The collar can be adjusted whilst unlatched but once latched it cannot be adjusted
to stop anyone extending it and slipping it over your dog‚s head.
What if there is a software fault?
The units on the collar are sealed in a special manufacturing process to ensure
waterproofing. All of the components are within the collar and once sealed it cannot
be reopened for repair. However if there is a fault in the software we can interrogate
the collar using our communication system to establish the cause and then provide
a fix by downloading it over the air. You will not need to return the product to
us in these circumstances.
The device communicates using GSM (mobile phone) and GPRS (data transmission) networks.
Our telecoms provider in the UK is Orange Telecoms. As long as the product is used
in an area with Orange network coverage it will work. We are currently working with
distribution partners on opening other markets across Europe, North American and
GPS coverage is available virtually everywhere, though performance can be limited
by being inside buildings or under dense foliage.
RF is short range but will work anywhere provided you have an appropriate receiver.
Please contact us for further details.
Is there a contract?
There is no contract as we have found that once people have bought and used the
collar, it becomes an indispensible item in the peace of mind it provides to the
family in looking after and protecting their dog.
I live in a remote area, – what about phone coverage?
The Retrieva Collars use an Orange Sim card and it is possible to check how comprehensive
the coverage is in your area by checking the Orange website. It is important to
note that the signal strength required for a SMS text message is less than that
required for voice calls so it is possible that messages will get sent where voice
calls may not.
For the mapping panel and internet access by phone you will need to ensure that
your area has the requisite 3G transmission capability. Local phone shops will know
the status of this.
Can I provide my own SIM card?
For retail customers the products are sealed at manufacture to ensure they stay
watertight, and so it is not possible to accommodate and administer different SIM
In exceptional circumstances we can provide a collar with a Sim from an alternative
carrier. We can also provide collars for international customers with local Sim
cards for their location. For this we reserve the right to charge an additional
fee as these collars will not form part of a standard production run.
Why is there a monthly charge?
For 3 reasons:
Could there be additional charges?
The monthly charge should cover all the requirements for the use of the collar in
normal circumstances and for the purpose for which it is intended.
We also recognise that the Retrieva collar and trackers will be used by professional
dog handlers in a variety of situations and this may require significant additional
air-time and messaging capability. Charging structures may therefore change for
professional use and may need to be negotiated separately.
Will it work everywhere?
GPS is a global system and should work everywhere provided the collar has a view
of the sky for satellite connection. GSM relies on telecom coverage which is improving
all the time, but as we all know, there are still areas where connection is difficult.
RF technology is short range and will work to a certain extent within buildings
Web and phone based mapping software continues to improve and Retrieva are focussed
on delivering the best solution for finding your dog. Uniquely the Retrieva system
gives a choice of how you can find your dog and we recognise that some people want
a phone solution whilst others may wish to use a computer.
Viewranger Ordnance Survey phone mapping software.
This can be downloaded to an increasing number of smart-phones and provides the
topographical off-road detail that is vita in finding a dog the software can also
identify your location and will show the speed and direction of travel of the dog.
Google and Google Earth.
Using various smart phones as well as accessing the Retrieva Web panel you can also
use the incredible satellite imagery from Google Earth to locate and track your
Why Retrieva rather than the competition?
There are significant advantages afforded by the Retrieva collar over any other
dog tracking product. These include:
Is there a warranty?
Yes – there is a one year manufacturer’s warranty on the product.