Alright, I’m an animal lover in the extreme, so when I hear about something that might help keep my pets a bit safer, I’m always interested. That said, inventor Jed Berks has designed a pet safety collar that has me scratching my head. His Float-a-Pet prototype is designed to, theoretically, save your pet’s life by tackling several hazards that it might encounter while on the lamb.
The collar features a light sensor that turns on an LED to compensate for low light environments. The LED is said to illuminate your pet’s path enough to help it avoid potential pitfalls. It seems to me, however, that this feature would become incredibly irritating since the lights would activate even when your pet is safe at home. Imagine trying to sleep while Fluffy furiously blinks at the foot of your bed. I guess you could probably turn that feature off, but that’d sort of defy the point, because you might not have a chance to reactivate it before your furry friend breaks for the door.
The more ridiculous aspect is the feature responsible for the products namesake. Included on the collar is a humidity sensor attached to a small CO2 cartiridge. When the sensor detects excess humidity, it assumes your pet is drowning and releases the CO2 into a flotation device that is built into the collar. Nevermind the fact that there are an infinite number of catalysts that might cause the collar to falsely start (New Orleans humidity is daily over 100%), my question is about the safety of this device. It looks as if the inflatable component would compress the collar, strangling Fluffy rather than saving her. Questionable design indeed, but at least those blinking LEDs will help you retreive your pet’s lifeless floating corpse.