If you have ever watched the film The Secret Life of Pets, it is always an intriguing thought to know what your furry friends get up to once you have left the house. Whether it’s to find out which dog is the culprit of chewing at the television wires, or to see if your cat really does have two homes when it goes out for 12 hours a day and comes back suspiciously full. Our pets are already part of the family, but IoT wearables could be the technology that allows them to become that little bit more like us.
We have an obsession with using wearable technology to easily access and track our lifestyle habits. From how many steps we do, to logging how much water we drink, and checking on our heartbeats, these wearables give us constant data and insight into our own well-being. Now, we aren’t the only species who can use IoT wearables to give us more insight into their behaviour. Yes, that’s right, wearables are now becoming popular for animals, and it doesn’t just mean attaching an Apple watch to the paw of your poodle.
On-collar GPS trackers that connect to an app on the pet owner’s phone, are now widely available. Not only does it provide entertainment in tracking where your pet adventures to and to see if your lazy cat really doesn’t move off the sofa all day when you’re out at work, but it could also mean saying goodbye to wandering the streets shouting for Fluffy and putting up posters when your pet goes missing, as you can find its specific location with the ease of simply opening the app.
FitBark (yes that is a real thing) is another pet wearable, that can be used alongside a Fitbit in order to get owner and pet in shape together. Not only can you monitor how much exercise and sleep your beloved pooch is getting, but it evaluates the amount it needs with accordance to the age and size of the pet. By doing your 10,000 steps, you can be a responsible dog owner with peace of mind that your Great Dane and Chihuahua are getting in the right amount steps too.
And don’t just think wearables are suitable for domestic house pets, farm animals are getting in on the IoT action too. Smartshepard is a wearable device that is attached to ears of all the ewes and lambs out in the field. The devices each have unique ID tags that wirelessly connect to each other when in close proximity. Due to the behaviour of lambs keeping close to their mothers, farmers are able to identify which mothers have given birth to which lambs by which ID tags are together most frequently, enabling farmers to accurately establish pedigree and parentage with a 96% accuracy, something which has long been a challenge for farming the industry.
Our obsession with being a nation of ‘trackers’ only seems to be growing. However, for the sake of the pet that keeps sneaking onto the bed when it thinks it’s owner isn’t watching, sometimes the less you know the better.