Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.
Starting in late April, cat and dog owners can track their pets and find animal-friendly places to eat and stay in one place.
Set to hit major app stores next month, Roaming Tails will provide one platform for all pet owners’ biggest needs. Ballston resident Jaime Bowerman founded the company in 2014, inspired by Flipflop, her Daschund.
“In talking to many other pet parents, they seemed to have similar sorts of problems, and there’s really no good place to find accurate data that tells us where we can take our pets,” Bowerman said. “She also had a mind of her own like most dogs do, and there had been a time where I thought she was missing, which was kind of scary.”
Pets are connected to their owners through a tag around their neck, which connects to the app via Bluetooth. That tag then integrates with the app to provide medical records, and has a long battery life of upwards of a year.
And while the Bluetooth capabilities limit the range of separation between an owner and their pet to about 50 yards, Bowerman said there has progress on that front.
In January, company employees attended the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and agreed to partner with a major tag provider to have tags that use Wi-Fi as well as Bluetooth.
Bowerman said that combined with the Ballston Business Improvement District’s initiative to deliver free wi-fi in the neighborhood’s public spaces can help grow the product’s use.
“What we’re really hoping to do on launch in early April is to make [Ballston] the most pet-friendly place possible that we can,” she said. “It’s pretty exciting technology.”
With the launch a matter of weeks away, Bowerman said she and her colleagues are working to get the app as perfect as possible by testing it among themselves. But with hopes of partnerships with pet stores and veterinarians, they have grand ambitions.
Roaming Tails also could be at the forefront of partnerships with local pet-friendly restaurants, Bowerman said.
“Let’s say you’re walking past a restaurant with our tag, what happens is your phone will bark at you and say, ‘Bring Fido in for two-for-one drinks,'” she said. “It really is a way for restaurants to easily market to people with pets and to easily set up rewards programs and things like that.”
Bowerman said with the way the relationship is evolving between pets and their owners, this app can fill a valuable need in one place.
“Technology is changing the way we life live with our pets, but unfortunately it just takes a lot of apps to enhance the quality of life or change that,” she said. “What we have done is taken most features and put them on one platform that allows you to do these things.”
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