As seen here, Kaya the dog had a light-up collar that broke. While still functional for leash duties, and maybe for hanging a name/vaccination tag, the pup’s owner decided to augment it with an addressable LED strip, along with a 3500mAH 18650 cell. Lighting-wise, this was a huge improvement over the single LED and optical fiber design that it came with.
This new addressable strip needed a controller, so an ESP32 module was implemented using the FastLED library. Although the ESP32 is more than powerful enough for lighting control, it emits a wireless signal, meaning Kaya is now WiFi-enabled. With these new enhancements, the collar can run for seven to eight hours on full brightness, giving doggo plenty of time for a nighttime walk or outdoor play.
As for why you might want your dog to be wirelessly connected, there’s of course the “wow that’s unusual” factor, but it also allows some limited tracking to see where the pooch is. While not implemented here, one could think of a huge number of upgrades to the device. Perhaps it could be used to control the lighting effects – beyond the “device connected” indication shown in the video – or even as a “warwalking” implement to search for available WiFi networks!