Transformative AI Technology for Pet Smart Dog Training | Companion

ANIMAL INNOVATIONS SHOW - EPISODE 91 - COMPANION

Transformative AI Technology for Pet Smart Dog Training | Companion

If you want your dog to engage in a fun yet transformative dog training even while you go on with the rest of your day, Companion is the key to your needs.

According to John Honchariw, founder and CEO of Companion,

“We hope to help all animals, but we’re starting with dogs and humans. Basically, we want to give humans a far greater understanding and even better relationship with the dogs they care deeply about.”

An AI Companion to Provide Your Dog With Transformative Learning Experiences

Companion website dog listening to companion

Consisting of a team of world-class technologists, animal welfare experts, entrepreneurs, and researchers, Companion develops technology that automatically trains Fidos transformatively. Their products use computer vision, machine learning, and robotics to create high-quality solutions to the most pressing dog training and animal welfare issues.

“Fundamentally, what Companion’s all about is using all of this technology that’s been developed through cell phones and all of these little sensors, all around the world to precisely, much more deeply pick up on all of the signals, all of the communications that the animals we love around us are already sending us,”

John elaborated.

Even with all the functions and capabilities that come with modern technology, the Companion team believes that using it to create more empathy and establish a great human-animal bond is the best way to utilize it.

“Training’s one word for it. The other way of saying it is just making it easier to live more with your dog. We want you to feel really confident that the moment you call your dog’s name, your dog will turn around and look into your eyes. The moment you ask your dog to recall to come to you, you’ll be able to call your dog over. The moment you ask your dog to go down, you know you’ll be able to diffuse the situation.”

dog training with companion

While most people just think of these activities as interacting with their pups and adult pooches, John and the team at Companion think that they are important methods of communicating with your four-legged companions. And if you’re confident that you can communicate with them, it increases the chances of you being able to live more with your animals.

John explained it best,

“It’s a combination of this new type of hardware device with a kind of AI power. It’s fast enough to interact with your dog in a fun, meaningful, engaging way while you’re away… And whether it’s sit down, recall, or all of these things while you’re away from home, Companion helps keep those behaviors stronger and stronger and stronger.”

dog gets transformative learning experiences from companion tech

Companion also includes an amazing remote coach who sees all of the content coming from your device. This way, they’re able to give you guidance on how your dog is doing the curriculum and suggest changes that will help your Fido complete their training.

“We deem it as a success when you spend more time with your dog or more time in training. This might sound weird, but we’re most proud of it when people like doing training so much more because it’s so much easier, so much more fun. We’ve given them so much leverage on their time, and they spend more time with their dog and develop a better and even stronger human-animal bond.”

 

 

Learn more about Companion!

Check out their website at https://joincompanion.com/.

Have suggestions for who we should interview next?

Send us a message at [email protected]!

John: I’m John Honchariw.

You’re tuned in to The Animal Innovations Show. 

Chris: Excellent introduction, John.

So, tell us who are you and how are you innovating and helping animals?

John: Basically, we want to give humans a far greater understanding  and even better relationship with the dogs they care deeply about.

So, fundamentally, what Companion is all about is using all of this technology that’s been developed through cell phones and like ring doorbell, cameras, and all of these little sensors all around the world. To much more precisely, much more deeply pick up on all of the signals,  all the communications that the animals we love around us are already sending us.

All of these sensors can pick up on all these little movements, right.

How is your dog positioning his tail? How’s your dog position his back? How is your dog positioning his jowls? And how does that change over time? How is it in real time?

There’s so much signal on animals health and wellness baked into all of those little movements that we as humans, it’s hard for us to pick up on, right. Even if with the best of intentions.

But all these machines that have come online can be our aid and can help us far more deeply understand these animals we care about. That’s what we’re most excited about at the end of the day is creating more understanding and so doing, hopefully creating more empathy.

We’re starting—what we’ve shown so far is the first product which really focuses on training, which I think everyone agrees is one of the foundational elements of establishing a great human-animal bond early on.

The other thing is: just making it easier to live more with your dog. We want you to feel really confident that the moment you call your dog’s name out, your dog will— like turn around and look in your eyes.

The moment you ask your dog to recall to come to you, you’ll be able to call your dog over. The moment you ask your dog to go down, you know you’ll be able to diffuse the situation to go down.

These are all the basic interactions are often conflated with the human-animal bond. And people just think of us, like interacting with their dog.

Does my dog, listen to me? If people feel really confident in these types of interactions, these are the communications that allow you to take your dog out to the dog park more.

Because you have more confidence that, that communication is strong, right. Or go to a local mall, go to work with your animal. It helps you live more with your animal.

The Companion service is this beautiful device which can automatically interact with your dog while you’re there or while you’re away from home.

You can’t be there with the animal that is teaching your animal all these basic behaviors and whether it’s sit, down, recall all of these things.

While you’re away from home, like one to five sessions a day and helps keep those behaviors, keep getting stronger and stronger and stronger.

The Companion service also includes this amazing remote coach who sees all of these videos and all the content and all the videos coming from the device and is able to give you guidance on how your dog is doing the curriculum,  maybe change some things in the curriculum for you or your dog and help you complete the training.

So, if you think of it, the device itself is kind of doing 98, 98, 99% of the heavy lifting, doing lots and lots of repetitions for you. And then the coach helps you complete that loop  like you are the key part of—once your dog say, for instance, complete sit 302, you are able— you get a fun message on your phone saying: Okay, your dog just graduated!

Your coach gives you a fun exercise, take—you know, five treats, take ten treats at the local park tonight. And here are the two or three exercises you can do to help your dog generalizes to a new situation.

Armed with all of this great practice that we’ve been working on with your dog while you’ve been at work.

So, it’s a combination of this new type of hardware device with like an AI-powered is fast enough to interact with your dog in a fun, meaningful, engaging way while you’re away.

Also having this coach, like someone’s spirit guide along the way that’s able to track all the data and track how you and your dog are doing.

And then you consume all of this through kind of an elegant app which shows not only fun videos of your dog— kind of going through the curriculum, but also as your main portal to interact with your coach via chat.

Chris: John, take us back to the point where you had this brilliant idea for this. I mean, you’ve got quite a very impressive background and experience.

And was it like that you’re training your dog one day and all of a sudden you have this brilliant idea as to how you’re going to revolutionize things.

John: My background is in engineering, so mechanical, aeronautical, and system engineering. So, I have a basic understanding of kind of automation and robotics and what’s possible with this kind of things.

And then I had some fun experience at a clean energy startup and nanotechnology, then a cloud startup, and then got to spend some time at Google and my wife is at grad school at Stanford.

And there, I got to work with just the smartest people  just on the AI side, and the robotic side, and automation side. And I think where a lot of this notion came from is just the realization— like one:

Just a personal passion for animals and specifically empathy for animals. Like always kind of noticing, that I had particular draw to animals and felt like I maybe had a little bit more understanding of their body language or communicate them in a more basic way.

But two: Also this passion for what I would call: Automation.

So, specifically useful technology, not gadget technology. But the technology that can help you do something or take care of something that normally takes hours and hours and hours to do it well, and you have to do overtime and/or something a technology that can make what you already love to do better.

The last conviction came from just this idea that there is no way all these sensors didn’t help us pick up  on all this communication and then realizing that, once you have that realization, like over the next ten to 20 years, we’re going to have this deeper understanding.

A training kind of the developing the relationship that was the obvious first application. It’s like: Oh, yeah like we have to— we should work with the animal that most people have in the US.

Most people spend the most time and money on that’s the right place to start a business. Two, you want to do something that everybody needs.

Everybody needs training. And like, the craziest thing is it’s so expensive, so time-consuming, but everybody still does it, because you need it. But very few people know what good training looks like.

And only kind of, 50% of folks know that you need to keep doing it over time, and there’s tons of benefits to keep doing it over time.

Chris: What does the future look like for you? What’s your roadmap? What’s your vision for where this is going to go?

John: Right now, we’re squarely aimed at giving the initial engagement Companion service to more and larger and larger groups of customers.

If you’re interested in what we’re doing, WWW.JOINCOMPANION.COM, sign up. But we’re laser-focused on is we want to make sure  that all of our early customers, dogs, and humans have an amazing experience and that we don’t lose sight of making sure that as we go to larger and larger sizes of shipments, that that quality doesn’t drop.

That’s what we’re really focused on right now. Yes, there’s a bunch of fun R&D projects and a bunch of fun other things we can talk about in the future, but that’s what we’re really focused on right now.

Chris: John, I got to say, I love, I love the product, even just as you’ve told us a little bit now and where you’re going.

And more importantly, I love the values and the mission and the things that are important to you and the company that you’re building out.

So, thank you for that. So, tell people again if they want to learn more, if they want to sign up to be notified, if they want to get one of these, where do they go?

John: WWW.JOINCOMPANION.COM

So, WWW.JOINCOMPANION.COM, just like it sounds.

Chris: John, it was my pleasure to have you on. And as we wrap up, I’ll remind our viewers and listeners that if you got big plans like John does for the future of pet tech, right, we’d love to talk to you.

We’d love to have you on. There are so many ideas out there that are helping animals and helping people just go to INNOVATIONS.SHOW and we’d love to have you on the show to talk about it.

So, John thanks again for coming on. I appreciate it.

John: Of course, Sir.

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