Tech of the Week: how to light up your dog

Introducing Disco Dog, the world’s first (and presumably only) smartphone-controlled LED dog vest that can display animated patterns and custom scroll text in thousands of colours. It’s cute, creative, and potentially a great way to advertise

The absurdity of Disco Dogs never really goes away after the initial burst of “what the ...”, which inevitably arises when anyone sees the brief, however its Kickstarter campaign has already surpassed its funding goal of US$15,000 (NZ$19,767), with 19 days still to go.

Calling itself the world’s first smartphone controlled LED dog vest, the vest is just the same as any other doggie vest out there on the market, except for the fact that it has full RGB LED lights built into it.

Customisable messages to animated patterns can be shown with thousands of colours at your disposal, the vest is controlled by a dedicated smartphone app. The app is available for both iOS and Android devices, and it’s connected through Bluetooth.

Users can create animations for the vest, or have scrolling texts in different colours and brightness with more features, including emojis, planned for future updates.

One of the most important aspects of the vest is its geo-fencing capability – if a dog wanders out on the street and leaves the boundaries of the Bluetooth signal, a “Lost Dog” message is automatically displayed.

Because of its lighting functions, it’s also great if you need to search for your dog in the dark, as they’ll be easily spotted whether they’re up the street or rummaging through bushes in the backyard.

The vest has been created by PARTY, a New York and Tokyo-based group of designers and engineers “experimenting with storytelling and technology to create weird and wonderful experiences”.

The Disco Dog vest is made with 265 RGB LEDs, a microcontroller, and a Bluetooth low energy chip powered by a 3.7V battery, all of which can be easily removed from the vest for safe washing.

Size is measured based on the length of your dog’s back and the girth of their chest, and adjusted with Velcro closures.