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While I loved dogs, my busy schedule and an unknown fear of needing todevote a lot of time kept me from becoming a pet parent.Though I utilized every opportunity to engage with furry creatures duringmy walks around my apartment, I never dared to become a pet parent because Iknew that with being a parent comes a lot of responsibility.A year ago, when my friend moved abroad for work, I agreed to become afoster parent to his 3-year-old Golden Retriever "Musk." As myfriend's stay was supposed to be just for a few months, it was an option worthtrying.When Musk moved in, the euphoria and anxiety around the house justreminded me of the birth of my daughter. Like every other super-confidentparent, I thought I knew what Musk precisely needed. However, I did not realizeGod had plans to bring down my self-confidence.On the first day, Musk started panting heavily in the night. I quicklyresearched to check the reason for it. While the internet led my research toanxiety, I struggled to find a solution. I tried everything, from patting totreats, but nothing could calm him down. Finally, we could both sleep onlyearly in the morning.Over a few weeks, Musk and I seem to have agreed on a routine. It wasa 30-minute long morning walk with Musk pulling me to make sure I never lookedat my phone. It was followed by a hearty lunch, which Musk gulped in 30 secondsflat. And, of course, the day ended with patting his back and cuddling beforehitting the bed.(Who knew it was just the silence before the storm.)Over a few weeks, I could see that Musk was becoming lazy. He was notactively responding to instructions. Moreover, he looked as if he was notinterested in anything, including my patting his back and cuddling, which Ithought was the only thing he loved. This made us run to the vet with allfamily members in tow.Discussing with the vet made me realize that each breed has its ownspecific needs, depending on its genetics. Popular breeds like Goldies, Labs,and Shepherds were initially working dogs. But now, they are apartment pets,not to mention their need for exercise still needs to be kept up with.Similarly, they need to be fed according to specific calorie burn. Thus, it isnot just about the breed but also its lifestyle.The vet told us that Musk was showing early signs of obesity. Hence,he now needs precise food and a lifestyle change. My earlier nightmare ofowning a pet was coming true. I started spending more time on Musk than I everthought I would.I was juggling with time between my company, Musk, and tons of YouTubevideos and blogs. Unfortunately, the content created looked more for SEO thanhelping the dogs. To be honest, most suggestions were too generic.The need for measurement and an urge to best utilize my time with Muskbrought the techie back in me.I just wondered - won't it be magical if I could know Musk is doingall well? Or if the device can alert me if Musk needs a vet visit. Will it alsobe possible to know Musk's biomarkers like his activity time, activityintensity, sleep, etc., so that I can know precisely what to focus on? Hunt for the Holy Grail:Being an Apple watch user, my initial instinct was to search for agood fitness band for dogs. While Whistle or FitBark were the choices, theirmain focus remained on GPS-based tracking and a few specific alerts. However, Iwas looking for holistic measurements and suggestions based on thesemeasurements.My search in India took me to Wagr and links to an earlier attemptmade by Chinmay. They both were kind enough to share their learnings andprovide their suggestions. With no solution in sight, I started to buildsomething on my own.Forming the pack:Post the initial hypothesis, I shared the idea with Saurabh andAshwani. They both had a pet at their home before they migrated to apartmentsin Bangalore. And they shared a similar fear of pets taking over more time thanthe Bangalore traffic congestion. Saurabh and I were then building Fusion musicplayer, which grossed more than 8 million downloads before Google took it downand HIVE (India's first custom ROM over Android). Ashwani has been running hishardware venture for Smart Homes for some time, which may be a bit earlier thanthe market demanded. So, we worked as a team to build smart devices atOttomate.We brainstormed for a few months when Musk has been a scapegoat forall our experiments.The birth of Fydl.fitFor three months, we experimented with various exercise routines,health tips to get Musk back to the peak of his health. This included measuringhis BMS, weight, manually noting down activities, and measuring food portions.We could see dramatic results in the first 15 days, followed bygradual improvements over the weeks. This gave us confidence that the holygrail was at sight.We set out to build a prototype with our initial manual interventionsworking.An ARM microcontroller running ML model, an M2M quectel module forsending data, and a 3-axis accelerometer and gyroscope — we were ready toconvert our understanding to a measuring machine.With a deep neural network model running on the ARM MCU. We couldmeasure Musk's kinematics with 96% accuracy. Then, we bucketed them into rest,normal, and high-intensity activities.Accurate measurements helped us to keep tuning his food intake andexercise routines. We could get Musk to a stable weight in a few days andmeasure his kinetic data. Also, we were broadly able to get Musk a regularhealthy routine.That’s how Fydl was born, an accurate measurement-giving instrumentthat made us enjoy the “Eureka” moment when we strived hard to give the best toMusk.While his supposedly short stint got moved tothe long-term project, my few-month adoption slowly turned into fullparenthood.
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Fydl has not reviewed all of the sites linked to its Internet web site and is not responsible for the contents of any such linked site. The inclusion of any link does not imply endorsement by Fydl of the site. Use of any such linked web site is at the user's own risk.
8. Governing Law
Any claim relating to Fydl's web site shall be governed under the jurisdictions of the state of Karnataka without regard to its conflict of law provisions.