Finalist 2023

Ilume™ Dog Health & Wellbeing Suite

Design + Industry (D+I) / Ilume™

Ilume™: Setting the standard in PetTech, a technology suite promoting canine wellbeing and longevity through intuitive, data-driven technologies and services.

Take control of your dog's health through AI based smart feeding and activity tracking with Ilume™ — an integrated dog health and wellbeing suite that leverages smart technologies to unlock unique insights to optimise your dog's lifestyle. It comprises a collar-based Activity Tracker, Smart Bowl + Data-Hub that sync with the ilume™ App, providing personalised insights into your dog's activities, sleep patterns + eating habits. This system helps owners understand + cater to their dog's specific nutritional and activity needs, promoting overall health and longevity. Ilume™ offers a pioneering, user-friendly approach that makes taking care of your dog simpler + more effective than ever before.

Design Brief:

The design brief sought to develop a cohesive and intuitive system for Ilume™, consisting of a dog collar sensor device and a smart dog bowl. Both were to form the core of a pet health and wellbeing program. The Ilume™ collar was to be aesthetically pleasing, durable, compact, waterproof, UV stable, and customisable, allowing for high-volume production at a low cost. The smart bowl required safe and robust construction, IP65 waterproofing, chew-proof materials, and connectivity to the Ilume™ system via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. The objective was to create an innovative, high-quality, and distinctive product line that stands apart from competitors, incorporating features that enhance usability and manufacturability while enabling dog owners to easily monitor and adjust their pets' feeding and activity according to the app's recommendations. The ultimate goal was to improve dog health and longevity while establishing Ilume™ as a leading brand in pet care technology.

This project was developed by:

Design Process

The collaborative design process leveraged extensive research into diverse dog breeds' specific needs undertaken by the Ilume™ Health Labs team. Combined expertise applied throughout the development and realisation of the Ilume™ Wellbeing Suite included Research, Industrial Design, Mechanical Engineering, Electronics Engineering + Firmware development, management into Production, and Packaging. The Smartphone app was developed by the Ilume™ team, collaboration with the D+I team ensured a seamless user experience between physical and tangible touch-points of the system.

We meticulously designed the Dog Wellbeing Technology suite comprising a collar-based Activity Tracker, Electronic Smart Bowl, and Data-Hub/Tracker Charging Station. These innovative products were designed to enhance owner-dog interaction and optimise canine health and lifestyle.

The Activity Tracker is robust, secure, and provides accurate movement data to inform a dog’s personalised nutrition + activity program via a 6-axis accelerometer and gyroscope. Care was taken to ensure a IP65 rating, small + unobtrusive footprint, and dislodging prevention mechanism.

The Smart Bowl, in tandem with the Activity Tracker, helps inform a tailored wellbeing program according to the dog's unique data. The bowl employs a radial backlit indicator for intuitive portion control, making meal times effortless and accurate.

The Hub is a Wi-Fi connected IoT device hosting proprietary algorithms, transmitting collected data to the app and serving as the charging station for both Tracker and Bowl.

Our design process was iterative, taking into account market research and stakeholder feedback, while maintaining technical and functional excellence. The materials selected are non-toxic and non-brittle, focusing on comfort, durability, and easy cleaning. Our engaging and informative packaging communicates Ilume's vision effectively.

Exceeding the initial brief, our design process delivered a user-friendly, data-driven solution to dog health and wellbeing. Our work stands out as innovative and unique in the market, setting Ilume™ apart from competitors, testifying to our professional execution and commitment to excellence.

Design Excellence

The Ilume™ suite is a product family representative of considered design, setting a new benchmark for seamlessly integrated smart hardware + software solutions globally.

Functionality was a cornerstone of the process. The suite—consisting of an Activity Tracker, Electronic Smart Bowl + Data-Hub/Tracker Charging Station—works harmoniously, providing a seamless user experience. The Activity Tracker captures accurate data on a dog's movements, which feeds into the proprietary Ilume™ developed personalised nutrition program (PNP) which is delivered via the smartphone app, while the Smart Bowl adjusts portion sizes based on activity data. The Hub, as a Wi-Fi-connected IoT device, centralises data collection + charging.

Accessibility + user-centric design were paramount. The Activity Tracker is adaptable to any collar, and the Smart Bowl's radial backlit indicator simplifies portion control. The Hub's dual role as a data-centre + charging station streamlines usability. With compatibility ensured with the separately developed smartphone app, owners can easily access their dog’s health data.

The suite blends functionality with sleek, modern + neutral aesthetics, making it visually appealing. Our materials choice prioritises safety, durability + ease of cleaning. Non-toxic/non-brittle materials protect both pets + products, ensuring longevity.

Quality is evident in the suite's robust construction, comprehensive functionality + integration with the Ilume™ PNP (Personalised Nutrition Program), home-made meals, or alternate market available meal options. The suite's use of non-toxic materials + energy-efficient electronics align with sustainability principles.

The user experience is central to the final design. Every feature is tailored to provide an effortless, intuitive experience, enhancing owner-pet interaction and enabling a data-driven approach to canine health and wellbeing.

The Ilume™ suite communicates the immense value of investing in professional design, providing a tangible manifestation of how design can revolutionise everyday tasks like pet care. Its innovative, user-focused, and sustainable design practices set a new standard for design excellence in Victoria, Australia, and internationally, heralding a new era in PetTech.

Design Innovation

The Ilume™ suite addresses a real-world issue: providing tailored, optimal care for dogs to enhance their health + lifespan. This integration of IoT technology into pet care is unique, reshaping the interaction between pet owners + their dogs and transforming their well-being management.

One of the groundbreaking features is the Activity Tracker, capturing a dog's movements, distinguishing between different types of activities with its accelerometer and gyroscope. The pioneering aspect of this project is Ilume's collaboration with multiple universities to create the proprietary tracker-based algorithms that determine the unique caloric requirements across a diverse range of pets, a world first achievement.These algorithms consider factors like breed, size, age + activity level to differentiate the needs of each dog, providing a truly personalised approach to pet care. This nuanced understanding that what's ideal for an older Chihuahua differs greatly from the needs of a young Great Dane, is a revolution in the pet care market.

The Electronic Smart Bowl, in synchronisation with the Activity Tracker, adjusts meal portions according to the dog's activity. Its unique radial backlit indicator provides an intuitive method for portion control, enhancing user experience further.

The Data-Hub/Tracker Charging Station, the core of the Ilume™ system, houses these proprietary algorithms, operating as an IoT device that communicates the analysed data to a smartphone app. The Hub's dual functionality as a data centre + charging station introduces a novel feature to the PetTech category.

Designed for the needs of both pets and owners; the suite caters to various dog breeds and life stages, ensuring that care routines are adjusted to their specific circumstances. The integration with the smartphone app ensures that the owners can monitor their pet's data anytime, anywhere, making the process convenient + easily manageable.

The Ilume™ suite sets a new benchmark in pet care with its unique, impactful solutions.

Design Impact

The suite, a collaboration between Ilume™, University partners and D+I, has been led by the goal of enhancing pet health, thereby directly benefiting society by extending the lives of our beloved pets and improving their quality of life (as well as their owners, with dogs having proven health benefits for people).

The big idea behind the development was the discovery that obesity is the number one preventable disease in dogs - Studies demonstrate that calorie controlled diets in dogs can extend life by up to 2 years. By merging smart technologies with a mission to enhance the health and wellbeing of all dogs, Ilume™ has potential to see significant market growth, yielding positive economic outcomes.

By using durable, non-toxic, and non-brittle materials, the product lifecycle is extended, reducing waste and the need for replacement. The suite's digital nature means its key features—data collection, interpretation, and communication—have a minimal environmental footprint. By using Wi-Fi and low-powered Bluetooth, energy usage is kept to a minimum. The Ilume suite champions healthier lifestyles for pets, potentially reducing the need for certain veterinary interventions + their associated environmental costs.

By investing in a professional design process, we have created a high-quality, impactful, and innovative solution that will continue to champion the importance of design in Australia. With its potential for wide-reaching impact, the Ilume™ Dog Wellbeing Technology suite sets a new benchmark for design that fosters social, environmental, and commercial benefits.

Ilume has developed its approach and technology through collaboration with the University of Melbourne + Massey University in New Zealand. Additionally, Ilume has created a $1 million dollar fund to expose API’s to all those who can use it in their own creative ways to help improve the lives of dogs.

This project enhances Victoria's and, by extension, Australia's reputation as an international hub of design + innovation.

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