Animal welfare is not our only passion. Chord is being built on top of the AndRover open source project for animal wearables. The AndRover open source project clearly demonstrates our commitment to nurturing a market of competing products while keeping prices low. We are firm believers open source is better for our customers and our business.
Open source software is computer software (source code) made available with a license in which the copyright holder provides rights to study, change, and distribute the software in accordance with the license. This software, such as Linux, the suite of Apache products, the Java programming language, and MySQL, are behind much of the technology the average consumer takes for granted.
One important aspect of open-source software is that it allows businesses to share the cost of common commodities, providing the best product at the best cost, while allowing firms to find unique ways to differentiate their products and services. Many successful open-source projects have been created, funded, and maintained by businesses.
The Android operating system is another example of a wildly successfully open-source technology, led by Google, for use on mobile computer platforms. It is a software “stack” that extends from the hardware specific driver level up to user interface components; the AndRover open-source project adds layers on top of the existing open-source Android stack to create an open platform for developers to create innovative capabilities and successful real-world products for pets and service animals. Simply put, we are creating a version of the Android operating system tailored specifically for the needs of pets and service animals that developers and manufactures everywhere will be able to use through the open source project.
AndRover is the open source software being developed for the Chord collar. This software runs within Android on the Chord collar itself. AndRover does not run on the pet owner’s smartphone. This is an important distinction with one significant advantage being that it not necessary for AndRover to support iOs or Windows. Smartphone apps, on the other hand, are written specifically for Android, iOS, and Windows devices to integrate with the Chord collar.
To recap, AndRover runs on the collar and is open source while apps developed to communicate with the collar are not necessarily open source and not necessarily free. App developers may charge a fee or use advertising to support app development. This is not a drawback, in fact, it is the same model used by many popular Android, iOS, and Windows apps. This approach allows competition between app developers leading to more options for the consumer.
Not only is AndRover open source but the interface to AndRover is also open, making it easy for any developer to create an app for the Chord collar. It also means anyone can build their own AndRover-compatible collar, leading to innovative and exciting new products. A variety of apps and collars benefits everyone, including your pet.
AndRover software will be released under the Apache Software License 2.0, which is the same license as the Android Open Source project. The software will be available from the popular github website. While Barttron is the primary developer of AndRover software, community improvements and enhancements are always encouraged. After all, that is the driving principle behind open source software.