November 7, 2016
Have you ever wondered what Fido or Fluffy are up to at home, but don’t have a monitoring system in place? Pet activity trackers are not a new concept, but they can be an effective resource to ensure your pets are happy and healthy, even when you’re not around them. From tracking activity to rest levels, you’ll be able to understand what your little furball is up to throughout the day. Poof, a new company that also has a built-in social impact program, is the latest to offer health activity trackers for your pets.
The main goal for Poof is to track activity; however, there is also a social component to it with a built-in community, which can help you find a lost pet. We’ll dig into that part later on though, as they have a big chicken and egg situation to overcome first. Initially launched through an Indiegogo campaign, Poof more than doubled their goal. Their two trackers, the Bean and Pea, officially launched last week. As such, this will be a shortened, first impressions review as we have only used it for a shorter period of time compared to our other reviews.
To start tracking your pet’s activity with the Poof Pea, it takes only a couple of minutes. Taking the Pea out of the packaging, it’s more or less disassembled. You simply pop the battery in, put the Pea in either the ring or holster, and then put it on your pets collar. From there, the app is just as simple. You create an account and the app will automatically identify that there is an active Pea nearby. As soon as it connects, you’re good to go. Now, whenever you want to track the activity of your pet, you simply hit the sync button.
The Poof Pea is quite possibly one of the smallest, if not the smallest, and most affordable fitness trackers for pets. Ultimately, the goal of the Pea is to give you regular updates on the activity and rest levels of your pet, which means you can get a better understanding for what is considered normal for them and when something may be off.
There is also a bluetooth mesh-network feature in the event that your pet goes missing. However, this would require not only for a person to be within 30 feet of the pet, but for them to have downloaded the app as well. Poof refers to this as social GPS, something very similar to how Tile works, and even with Tiles huge user base, I’d be hesitant to rely on their network as well.
Beyond the two primary functions, the Poof Pea does a great job of telling you about your pet’s health. It breaks down activity into high, medium, and low, and then breaks down the rest into deep and light rest. These are pretty similar to how Fitbit tracks human steps, but Poof lays it out a bit more cleanly hour-by-hour.
Beyond the data, the device is also built to withstand typical pet activities. We’ll dig into the design in the next review, but being waterproof (up to one meter) is a nice touch. It also features Bluetooth 4.0, which means you need to be within 30 feet of the Pea for it to sync. This particular model also uses a replaceable battery (button type), which will last up to 160 days. That can be a bit of a pain, but they also offer the Poof Bean with a rechargeable battery for an extra $10.
With four different colors – green, blue, black, or red – the Poof Pea is easy to customize to your liking. The Pea also includes two different options for tracking your pet, a collar ring or a holster. For smaller dogs with smaller collars, the holster should also add a bit more durability to it as well, which is ideal since the device appears to be made from a thin plastic.
However, the materials for the device itself also lead to it’s weight, only .25 ounces, which means it really shouldn’t bother your pets at all. Personally I have been using the Whistle tracker on my 13 pound chiweenie for years, which is quite bulky, so this tiny tag should go almost unnoticed to her.
Overall, the small size and weight of the tracker is no different than adding another tag to your pets collar, and it appears to be relatively durable.
Pros and Cons
- Incredibly lightweight
- Easy to understand data
- Lost-pet tracker requires a much larger user base
- Replaceable battery
Should you buy the Poof Pea activity tracker for your pet? If you are concerned about your pet’s health and activity levels, then absolutely. The Poof Pea is quite possibly one of the most affordable solutions on the market and it’s also one of the lightest. However, replacing batteries is a bit of a pain, so you might as well spring for the extra $10 at get the Poof Bean, which includes a rechargeable battery. Although we have not tested the Bean, it uses the same technology as would likely work just as well, with the exception of a shorter battery life. We give the Poof Pea a 4 out of 5 due to the lost pet tracker feature being a bit of a long-shot and the need to replace the button type battery. Overall, the Pea appears to be a solid solution for those who want to create a baseline of health data for your pets, and to create peace of mind for those days when we’re being paranoid about how they are acting.
Where to buy: Poof
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