Dial-a-dog: Japan's Wan Nyumber pet-finder service
Japan’s notorious obsession with personal privacy took a step further recently when telco giant NTT launched the Wan Nyumber pet-finder, a new lost-pet finder service based entirely on helping owners avoid having to put their phone numbers up on those oh-so-Western ‘Have you seen Fido?’ posters.
The company’s Wan Nyumber offering – ‘Wan’ and ‘Nyan’ are supposedly the noises Japanese dogs and cats make -- takes ¥525 ($5.75) a month from registered users in return for the peace of mind that NTT will handle communications from any putative pet finder.
Almost an escrow service for lost pets, Wan Nyumber is sold heavily on taking the hassle out of retrieving the missing animals. Finders simply call the unique number printed on each custom collar tag and the NTT call center does the rest.
While the advertising is a little overboard, exclaiming how important it is for pet dogs to get their own dedicated emergency number., it’s undeniable that keeping your contact data with a third party is simpler than updating skin-embedded microchips when you change phone numbers.
Lastly, should all of the above fail to convince wavering pet lovers, new members of the Wan Nyumber club can choose their collar tags from a range of 100 designer discs, including a bizarre selection of marijuana-based motifs.