Leashes? Psh. That’s so 2013. With the emergence of pet fashion in recent years, it comes with little surprise that wearable tech’s next market would target our four-legged friends. While we’ve seen an assortment of examples for wearable tech for us humans — ranging from rings and watches to hoodies and shoes — the hype around wearable technology is still relatively new. Indeed, no animal may be making a phone call anytime soon (or so we think), the idea of using wearables for tracking and identifcation, behavior control, safety and health monitoring is very much a viable option.
As analysts at IDTechEx recently highlighted, the market for animal wearables is expected to reach $2.6 billion by the year 2025. In that time, it is without question that we will see the launch of various new products targeting pet owners and of course, their furry sidekicks. In celebration of National Dog Day, here’s a roundup of some of the latest SMART gizmos and gadgets for pets — thus far.
1. Whistle Activity Monitor
WhistleGPS is an on-collar, pet tracking device that measures a dog’s activities including walks, play and rest. The device is designed to give canine parents a new perspective on day-to-day behavior and long-term health trends. The smart device monitors your pets’ activities, reading information such as health parameters and how much exercise they are getting. The data collected is sent to the owners’ smartphone through an easy-to-use app, while the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled wearable enables users to check-in from their phones, share memorable moments and send detailed reports to a veterinarian. The WhistleGPS pet activity tracker adds GPS capabilities and is the first consumer device to tap into Sigfox’s low-power IoT network. For the rare time good ol’ Skippy wanders off and cannot find his way back, the collar’s GPS is there to help.
2. Tagg Pet Tracker
The Tagg Pet Tracker allows owners to keep track of their dogs via their mobile device by notifying them if their pet has left the pre-programmed “Tagg Zone.” Designed for both cats and dogs to be worn at all times, the lightweight pet tracker attaches to your pet’s existing collar and serves as a wearable GPS device. Tagg’s location tracking system enables an owner to receive a text and email in the event that their pet gets away. Aside from ensuring the whereabouts of your best friend, Tagg also features activity tracking which collects data related to daily activities, trends and more.
FitBark is a tiny, smart activity monitor that helps pet owners stay cognizant of a dog’s health while understanding its behaviors throughout the day in a way that was never available before. Through its app, a pet owner is provided with a detailed analysis of the pet’s activity, giving “Bark Points” as a way of comparing its lifestyle to other pets. The app offers a breakup of activities by time slots, allowing you to compare your pets’ behavior at different times of the day. FitBark also allows you to easily monitor your dog’s health and recovery from illness, by studying activity trends. One of the most notable features of the monitor is the “Dog vs. Human” capability, where users can connect with their dog on a whole new level, keeping up the pace by challenging their canine every time they go out for a run.
The Voyce health tracking dog collar can monitor your dog’s health, ranging from their heart and respiratory rate to calories burned and its pattern of activity. Using a mobile app, all the data is collected in the form of trends, giving an owner an overall picture of their dog’s well-being. Upon entering information about your dog’s breed, age and unique medical situation, Voyce will mesh that data with its sensor statistics, and feed you with customized insights to make you a better-informed pet parent. The platform also provides tools to track your dog’s medicines and vaccinations, and makes it easier to share everything with your veterinarian, too.
5. Silent Herdsman
Not all wearables are for dogs or cats; in fact, the Silent Herdsman is smart collar designed for cows. The device’s smart monitoring system uses a wireless network-powered collar to detect patterns in cows’ behaviors, and automatically alerts farmers regarding changes in normal behavior, indicating patterns related to parturition and oestrus. As a result, the smart device can also enhance the efficiency of the farm by reducing labor costs and improving milk yield.
6. StickNFind BlueTrackers
While the StickNFind BlueTrackers can be applied to a number of items ranging from car keys to wallets, it is of particular interest to pet owners. At less than an inch in diameter, the smart sticker can easily be placed on your pet’s collar to help locate it when it’s gone missing. Given that a majority of lost pets are typically within just a couple of blocks from home, BlueTrackers will make it easy for you to know its exact outdoor location within 2,500 feet. The motion detector also notifies you if your furry friend is on the move. Say goodbye to the case of the missing moggie!
7. Eyenimal PetCam
Designed by Dogtek, the Eyenimal is an uber-mini digital cam which can be attached to your pet’s collar. The device comes equipped with 4GB built-in Flash memory, 500mA Li-Ion battery and the ability to capture images continuously for up to two and a half hours. Upon capturing footage, pet owners can then download the video to their computer via the included USB cable and be amazed at the animal’s activities.
The Best Fit Friend is a pair of small, lightweight and extremely durable activity monitors: one worn on your dog’s collar, the other worn by you. Both devices utilize a three-dimensional accelerometer, low-energy Bluetooth technology, and a mobile device to track the amount and intensity of your movement. The activity data is stored on the devices until it is wirelessly transferred to a mobile app, where a pet owner can compare data, set goals, and interact with other Best Fit Friend owners down the block or around the world. The Best Fit Friend is unique in that one device is specifically calibrated to accurately track the movement of our four-legged friends while the other is calibrated to human movement. This dual device system allows us to set fitness goals for ourselves and for our pets to then achieve our goals together.
Trax is a tiny, GPS tracker featuring an accelerometer and gyroscope for indoor tracking where GPS doesn’t work. These combined technologies allow the Trax to offer the real-time tracking of movement with accuracy of up to 10 feet, meaning that you can track down your four-legged friend quite easily using nothing more than your smartphone. In addition, owners can set the Trax to create GeoFences that alert you when the animal goes over a boundary. Each app features four basic types of GeoFences for ultimate flexibility, and each of these fences sends an alert to your phone when the Trax wearer goes beyond the designated area. Alerts can be set to push notifications or SMS. Given its small size (2.6 inches x 0.40 inches), the device can easily be clipped to collars.
10. No More Woof
Ever wonder what your dog was thinking? Imagine if it could tell you. Though it sounds much like the storyline from the Pixar film, “Up,” a team of Scandinavian scientists are working to develop a headset that could soon allow man’s best friend to speak his mind. No More Woof aims to develop a small gadget that uses the latest technology in micro computing and EEG to analyze animal thought patterns and spell them out in human language. If your dog could talk, what would it say? No More Woof says key phrases might include: “I’m hungry — but I don’t like this!” or “I’m curious who that is?”
“Yes, we HAVE achieved some results, but we are very far from a mass-producable product. That said, we believe that within a few years the technologies we are working with will revolutionize our relation to pets and animals,” the Makers’ Indiegogo disclaimer reads.
11. Adafruit Dog Logging Harness
Sure, you can buy one of the many smart gadgets on the market… or in true DIY spirit, you can go ahead and make one! That is what Adafruit’s Becky Stern recently did. The Maker created a FLORA-based GPS logger capable of mapping a dog’s playtime at the park or hike in the woods.