IoT Applications: Pet Tech
Humans first began domesticating animals nearly 10,000 years ago. Our ability to enlist them as collaborators in hunting, farming, and exploring marked a turning point for the human species – and for our animal companions. Today, in places like San Francisco and Denver there are more dogs than kids, and almost half of all U.S. households now have at least one pet at home.
In places like the U.S. and Canada, pet ownership has accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic, with humans under stay-at-home orders turning to animal companionship to combat loneliness and routine.
According to one forecast, the North American pet care sector is expected to reach nearly $300B by 2023, with pet-focused technology and the connected IoT solutions taking center stage. Driving factors include:
• Keeping our companions safe. Cellular connectivity provides an extra layer of accuracy in high-stress moments of emergency such as when a pet disappears or runs away. Trackers can also monitor whether animals are sleeping well, getting enough to eat (or eating too much), and exercising as much as they need. Connectivity can also compensate for the moments when humans feel absent-minded — for instance, making sure that our pets get the water bowl refills they need when they need them.
• Strong sectoral investment. In recent years, top tier venture capital firms have invested more than half a billion dollars in pet tech startups. Advances in veterinary medicine are also giving rise to new technologies, such as the ability to remotely monitor a pet’s glucose levels at home.
• Demographic shifts. Millenials and Gen Z are fueling a rise in pet ownership and spending more on their animal companions than older adults. These young (and younger) adults are more likely to turn to digital solutions for their furry friends.
• Advances in veterinary medicine. As much as we understand about our furry companions, there’s still a lot to learn. With IoT wearables, we can collect data to better inform scientific research, pet healthcare, and safety. IoT and tracking technologies can help provide problems such as obesity, help us take care of our pets, and provide greater insight to the veterinary industry at large.
• Mental heath benefits. The World Health Organization (WHO) anticipates a looming mental health crisis as one outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic — 40 percent of adults in the United States, for instance, struggled with mental health or substance abuse during April to June of 2020. Within this context, people will be seeking relief and research has shown that our pets have healing powers in keeping us psychologically balanced.
Pets are a part of the family, yet we have historically had few ways to ensure their health and safety. Given the rise of gen Z and millennial values, these trends are likely to change. IoT provides a low-cost solution to augment the multi-billion dollar pet accessories market.
Internet of Pets Inspiration
Roundup of interesting technology
Long-range tracker. It took three years, hundreds of prototypes, and a patented new approach to long-range connectivity, but Pebblebee Found now stands as both the most advanced tracker on the market today and the easiest to use.
Found operates on low-energy Bluetooth for 12-month battery life. But in an emergency, when longer-range connectivity is needed, it can switch on demand to LTE-M for true GPS accuracy. It provides true GPS location over long range, a small form factor, extended battery life, and no added cost for cellular connectivity.
Check out how Pebblebee is setting new standards in personal tracking.
Wellness monitor. The Anaxeos solution combines multi-sensory data from the animal with cloud-based AI/Machine learning to provide users with real time information, assistance and recommendations to improve the animal’s well-being.
Anaxeos provides the following:
• Activity tracker for setting and monitoring daily exercise goals
• Heart-rate monitor to see near real-time heart-rate data on demand and monitor progress over longer periods of time
• GPS location to help you see your dog on a map
Learn more about Anaxeos here.
Pet feeder. Life happens, and every pet owner has been in the position of being stuck in traffic, waiting in an unexpectedly long line, or needing to run a last-minute errand. IoT pet feeders can help ensure that pets never go hungry and can eat at their usual time.
For instance, the BNETA IoT Smart Pet Feeder can be operated remotely, has remote monitoring features, and supports voice interaction. It can even switch to battery use during a power outage.
You can see a product demo on YouTube.
Health Tracker. FitBark devices are activity and sleep monitors for dogs. These trackers give families insights into their pets’ well being and behavior. With this perspective, FitBark has collected data from 300+ breeds in 140+ countries. The company regularly publishes reports related to the lives of pets. Example analyses include how much puppies sleep relative to human babies, what days of the week dogs are most active,
Check out some of those reports here.
Monitoring System. One of the biggest challenges that veterinarians navigate is that they don’t speak “animal” — our pets can’t communicate when something is wrong. One student team at Indira Gandhi Technical University for Women created a prototype of smart animal health monitoring system based on IoT for real time monitoring of body temperature, heart rate, and rumination with humidity.
You can see the paper that they published here.
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