Singer-songwriter Jann Arden’s latest project has the Calgary chanteuse stepping away from the mic to focus on creating a solution to a problem which she describes as one of her biggest nightmares.

Arden and a software developer have created the Arden Collar, a dog collar which utilizes current smartphone technology to reunite pet owners with their missing animals.

“We’re not recreating the wheel. This is all existing technology,” explains Arden. “We’re finally at a place now where the sim card, the chip for the satellite, the heat and cold sensors – all this can very easily and effectively fit into a hypoallergenic, silicon collar that’s fit to your dog and that has a detachable battery.”

The combination of the collar and included app will allow:

  • A dog owner to locate their pet on a map
  • The remote illumination of lights on a dog’s collar
  • Owner contact information to be shared with someone who locates a dog on the run

“It’s basically like your GPS (Global Positioning System), only, now, your dog is the destination. When it goes missing, you hit your interactive app and you see where your dog is in real time.”

The Arden Collar has been constructed as a prototype but the creative team has turned to crowdfunding in the hope of bringing the collars to market.

“We just need to manufacture them. We need to put them together for the people that really need them.”

The inspiration for the collar began with a conversation on travelling with dogs, a common practice of Arden’s.

“A year ago, we were talking about how much I travel with my dog and I’m thinking ‘Gosh, it would be so great to have an app to go on to figure out what airlines I could go on, what trains I can’t go on, what buses, what hotels, cafes’ and it kind of morphed into ‘Oh my gosh, if I ever lost my dog what would you do?’. I travel so much and I’m in different hotels.”

“My software developer, Derek Sheldon, said just put a collar, a GPS collar, on him. It’s simple.”

Arden and Sheldon assumed GPS collars for dogs were readily available but numerous internet searches for a product matching Arden’s needs were unfruitful. The pair began developing a prototype collar, fastened by magnets, and involved a veterinarian to ensure the health and safety of animals.

Advance purchases of the Arden Collars are available through an Indiegogo crowdfunding page for $149 CDN plus shipping and handling. If the development team reaches its fundraising goal of $400,000, the collars will be manufactured and tested. Arden hopes to have the products shipped to customers by October 2015.