Snif, Snif Again

Warning: these are the crazy ramblings of a guy going slightly insane after an all-nighter…it gets unnecessarily harsh, but I try to offer some good criticism and alternative ideas.

“SNIF Tag is the revolutionary dog tag that lets you monitor your dog’s activities remotely. It even includes social networking.”

I think this quote in and of itself addresses both the interesting aspects of this dog-sniffing service, but also the–in this blogger’s opinion–highly ludicrous and extraneous actions and services that come attached to the service…First, I’ll address a positive aspect of the service, because it won’t take long to cover them, but we were told to not simply degrade the service for being silly and extraneous…So I’ll move onto a dumber activity associated with this service. For both instances, I plan to think about creative solutions which could actually lead to the service actually becoming a valuable and enriching experience, in areas where it is lacking now…

One, measly, positive aspect of this mother-sniffing service:

-Social Networking-The main driver behind this whole service is basically the only captivating concept to come out of this hideously dumb service: this is, obviously, the use of social networking to track your dog’s activities. This seems like it could have such broad potential, yet the brilliant minds behind this sniffing thing barely scratch the surface.

What is appealing is that you can track your dog’s interactions with other dogs.  This might even get to be more interesting if the service tracked the actions that Little Cesar performed with other animals and objects–cats, birds, sticks, bones, buried underwear, etc…This in and of itself could be an interesting, thoughtful service which simply provided information about your dog’s activities—already at this simple level exceeding what is achieved by these sniffers.  Just observing this information would be a powerful tool for dog owners. For example, the rfid tag in the collar interacts with a tag in your underwear. That “big thing” monitors your dog’s movement into his suspiciously favorite spot in the yard. You get a message saying that Little Cesar is burying your underwear again.

-Maybe this sort of thing is already utilized to some extent, and I haven’t really checked it out because I’m not into it. But if training your dog through this service became a main aspect of the service, it could become a sort of 24-hour obedience school. And dog’s positive or negative social, sniffly interactions with other dogs could be a sort of method to teach your pet proper social graces. Basically, cotillion for Little Cesar with a greatly reduced pricetag. This adds value.

-This also leads to thinking about (at least) 3 different subtypes of interactions that all dogs perform: those with other dogs, those with objects, and those with people. Maybe interactions with other, non-dog, non-human animals could be a 4th subtype. This adds depth.

In many dog owners’ minds, their dog is their whole world, and being able to track all Little Cesar’s activities—especially object dependent activities—would be yet another powerful tool… Maybe this site also comes with a webcam in the collar in addition to the rfid reader, so Patty could log onto her online account and see the world through Little Cesar’s eyes. This is changing a customer’s point-of-view. This, therefore, adds impact.

Why are other animals simply excluded from this service? Is there no sort of comparable service for cat owners? LickTag, or something? In my experience, cat owners are just as passionate—if not more—about their pets as dog owners are, and in very different ways. And what about bird owners? Turtle owners? Larger pet owners? Could this service be utilized in zoos someway? How so? It almost seems as if other pets are purposefully excluded to prevent the simple process of asking and creatively answering these and other questions, which would lead to a richer experience with much more variety. What if, and this is pretty cooky and sleepless thinking, this led to a sort of facebook-ing service in a zoo. Is there some way to help animals in zoos feel connected to other animals in the same or other zoos? What about the lonely lion in his cage in the zoo with depressive thoughts about his native habitat—is there some way he could potentially connect with all the fine lionesses back in the jungle? This adds variety.

Yes, these are silly questions which sleeplessness begs me to ask, but after getting some rest, I always find it beneficial to look back at these questions and thinking of more logical ways to ask and answer them, exercising both sides of my brain in this way…This broad, yet wacky, creative thinking—which is so lacking in this SnifTag service—is sometimes a good way to break outside of the box and really assess a service’s stronger and weaker points…Asking questions is creative, even when it’s silly and really out there. Answering those questions is logical—is a way to bring it back in to an appropriate, practical level.

In short (although I wrote in long…), and in very, overly harsh terms, Sniftag is a service which lacks value, depth, a unique viewpoint, impact, and variety—among other important qualities not even addressed here. This could’ve been solved through a cyclical process of asking creative questions, while searching for logical answers to these questions. I feel kind of bad that I just tore this sniffer a new nose hole, but this begs the following creative question: how does a thrice-holed nose service pick itself up from the floor and snif, snif (snif) again?


(I hope this isn’t too much rambling because I refuse to go back and edit it now…)


1 Comment»

  karencho wrote @

Steve i enjoyed reading this

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