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Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Are fitness trackers for pets a fad or the future?

A missing pet poster attached to a tree or lamp-post is a sad sight, as a lost moggy or pooch is a minor tragedy in any owner's life.
But luckily for Rhonda Vandermeer, a dog breeder from North Carolina, technology means she doesn't have to worry about her furry friends ever going missing.
If she ever wants to check on the whereabouts of her five-year-old English cocker spaniel Boz, she just taps on her mobile and can see his exact location.
Boz wears a smart collar with GPS tracking built in.
"He's always let off his lead and if he sees a squirrel, he's off, and I'm afraid he's going to keep running and we won't get him back," says Ms Vandermeer, who arranges for minders to look after her canine companions when she's away.
The Link AKC collar also pings her a notification if Boz has strayed beyond the boundaries she's set, which means she can quickly alert her local dog minders that he's escaped.
The collar also keeps track of the ambient temperature and how much exercise Boz has been doing.
"It's great for when I'm away and I can see how much exercise he does and what level of activity he's receiving a day," says Ms Vandermeer.
But isn't there a danger that such tech could make her a little obsessive?
"At first it was like a toy and I was always checking," she admits.
And did the dog minders feel like they were being spied on?
"I explained the tools to them. I never wanted them to think I was checking up on them," she says.
A smart fitness-tracking dog collar may sound like a gadget too far, but pet owners are splashing out on all kinds of gadgets to keep track of their feline and canine companions.
Pet tech is a booming industry, with the global market predicted to reach $2.36bn (£1.84bn) by 2022, according to Grand View Research.
"People think of their pets as a part of their family and with tech adoption growing, it makes perfect sense to innovate in this area," says Abhishek Sharma, analyst at market research firm Technavio.
Source By BBC.COM


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