The Weirdest Gadgets 2014

A remote for your pet

Pet remote on a white dog

Pet-Remote is a prototype device from Austrian company Tractive that vibrates or emits noise to help dog owners control their pets from afar. (Image credit: Tractive)

Tractive's new "Pet-Remote" prototype promises to help you train your dog to execute commands from afar. The small device fits on the dog's collar. First, you train your dog to perform a command as you normally would — giving a verbal order, and offering treats or praise when Fido gets it right. Next, turn on the Pet-Remote to either vibrate, emit an electronic noise, or both, and teach the dog to associate that feeling or sound with the command.

The idea is that instead of screaming "Snookums, sit!!!" across the dog park when your pooch is misbehaving, you can just press a button on your phone or iPad to get the desired behavior from up to 100 feet away. Will it work? Find out sometime in early 2014, which is when Tractive says it would be able ship the product, if it meets fundraising goals on the crowd-sourcing website IndieGoGo. 

LiveScience's Jeanna Bryner, Denise Chow, Bahar Gholipour, Tia Ghose, Tanya Lewis, Becky Oskin, Stephanie Pappas, Laura Poppick, Rachael Rettner, and Karen Rowan contributed to this story.

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