When entrepreneur Ken Ehrman learned that his 12-year-old niece’s dog, Ruby, was killed after getting through the fence, he felt a deep need to address the common problem of lost pets being run over by cars.
“The family had her for many years,” Ehrman told Dallas Express. “She was a beloved family member. Ruby was a rescue, and the whole family was really devastated.”
Ehrman, who founded I.D. Systems in 1993 as a Stanford University engineering student, works as an innovator in machine-to-machine wireless technology and industrial applications of the Internet of Things.
“While we were dealing with that tragedy, all of a sudden, it dawned on me that this is a problem I could fix because of my experience,” Ehrman said in an interview. “I was in the technology business, designing technology to keep forklifts, rental cars, tractors, and trailers monitored and safely used.”
So, Ehrman and his brother, Michael, sought out Cesar Millan, the star of the Emmy-nominated tv series, Dog Whisperer, from 2004 to 2012.
“I knew immediately I needed Caesar’s help,” Ehrman said. “He is the world’s foremost expert on dogs, in my opinion, by far, and I needed him to make sure that the technology is going to really work properly and give the best possible relationship and experience between dogs and their families.”
Together, they created the Halo for dogs and established offices in Plano, TX.
“My brother, Michael, who is really the technology genius, lives in Plano, and that’s why we’re headquartered there,” Ehrman said. “All the technology work, everything about making the technology, happens in Texas.”
The Halo collar is enabled to replace the need for a visible fence with technology inserted into it so that an unleashed dog knows not to wander away.
“You have to train your dog,” Ehrman added. “Beep means fence, and a whistle means come back.”
The collar comes with an app that includes instructional training videos featuring Millan.
“This is so you can have an amazing life with the dog’s most basic behavior,” Millan told Dallas Express. “You should have an amazing walk. You should know how to play with your dog and know how to explore with your dog.”
The company is introducing an addition to the collar called Halo Indoor Beacon, a Bluetooth-enabled device that creates pet boundaries within a home.
“Anything that you put on a dog, you have to condition them, even a leash is foreign to a dog,” Millan said in an interview. “In order for them to associate it with a natural outcome, you have to go through the process of adaptation. It’s the same as a leash.”
According to Ehrman, the Halo collar and Halo Indoor Beacon are the first pet products of their kind.
“It has to be the first because it was all Cesar’s vision that’s built into the collar,” he said. “We’re committed to having the Halo collar be technology that you will use almost like an iPhone for dogs. So, everyone would want to have one.”