Whistle dog activity tracker lands on Apple Store shelves and in IFTTT’s recipe book

Connected canine startup Whistle Labs has found a new retail partner in Apple, which will soon begin selling its connected dog tag in Apple Stores in the U.S. and Canada. Whistle also revealed Tuesday that it is working with IFTTT, the digital recipe maker that links together all of the disparate objects and services of internet of things.

The Apple Store deal will put Whistle’s activity tracker in front of a tech-savvy audience, building on its current retail deals with PetSmart, Brookstone and Amazon.com. Whistle’s gadget uses accelerometer to measure your dog’s daily walks, playtime and rest, displaying them as an activity graph in an iOS or Android app. Whistle also said today it is dropping the regular retail price from $129 to $99, matching the promotional rate at which it first sold the tracker when it launched last year.

A new version of Whistle's connected dog tag will get location tracking thanks to a Sigfox radio (source: Whistle)

A new version of Whistle’s connected dog tag will get location tracking thanks to a Sigfox radio (source: Whistle)

While many dog owners might find the activity tracking features useful, they’re still largely isolated in its app — to get the most use out of Whistle, you have to engage heavily within the app. The IFTTT integration, however, could bring Whistle out of its shell, linking your dog’s activity to other apps and devices.

For instance, when your dog reaches his exercise goal for the day, an IFTTT recipe could trigger a text message to everyone in your family, letting them know Fido has finished his daily workout. Conversely, if it’s the end of the day and Fido hasn’t hit his goal, an IFFTT recipe can cause your connected light bulbs to flash on and off, signaling that it’s time for a walk, Whistle co-founder and head of product Steven Eidelman told me.

IFTTT and Whistle are also offering recipes that can automate routine tasks, such as posting any picture you post of your dog on Instagram to your Whistle timeline (the trigger is a hashtag). And for people who are keeping detailed records of their dog’s activity, another IFTTT recipe can automatically upload walk and rest data from the Whistle graph into a Google Docs spreadsheet. The recipes should be available on IFTTT in the coming week.

IFTTT_Artwork_for_Mike_Isaac--(Image_Credit_by_Shiva Kilaru)

Source: IFTTT

According to Eidelman, the startup is investigating other possible IFTTT triggers that could integrate Whistle more closely with the smart home. For instance, when Whistle is connected to the home Wi-Fi network, it could act as a presence notification for your home’s climate control and lighting, telling them not to cut the heat or the lights. The smart home and how people (or pets) interact with it will be a big focus at Gigaom’s Structure Connect conference next week in San Francisco.

Finally, Whistle is updating its own app with new medical features. The app will now keep track of your dog’s vaccinations, sending out reminders when it’s time for a booster. It will also allow keep a medication schedule, reminding you when a dose is needed and allowing you to note when one is administered so you or your spouse don’t accidentally over-medicate your pup.