- Pets and Animals
Internet of Things for Pets
The Internet of Things is not some kind of sci-fi concept from the far-distant future – in fact, the new technology is changing the world right before your eyes. In 2016, wearable gadgets (including smart watches, wristbands and glasses) will ship 79 million units worldwide. In less than 4 years the global smart home systems market will be worth $ 58.68 billion. There will be 10 million self-driving cars on the road around the same time. Technology impacts the way we work, travel, do sports, relax and… take care of our pets. Here’s a list of incredible pet tracking apps and devices that will help you look after your fluffy (or hairless!) friend even better
Smart Pet Trackers, Apps and Health Care Devices
Kyon. In case you have an Apple Watch and would like to get one for your pet, Kyon may be a suitable choice for you! The smart collar (that looks more like an ordinary pet accessory than a high-tech device) is enhanced with an embedded system and several sensors, including water and heat detector, accelerometer and GPS. With the help of Kyon you can learn what is going on with your pet, where he is & how exactly he’s feeling at the moment. Pet owners can operate the gadget using the Kyon smartphone app or the base station via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. The gadget fits cats and dogs over 7 pounds. You can purchase the collar on Kickstarter for $ 249 (plus a $ 4.99 monthly 3G connectivity fee);
Anicall. The Anicall project is probably the closest we’ve got to the Internet of Things for pets (so fat at least!). It’s more than a smart gadget – it is a Japanese social network for pet owners! The Anicall smart collar connects to a smartphone via Bluetooth and is managed through an application. There are several features that make the gadget stand out from the competition. First, it’s the option to send notifications to other pet owners in case your friend gets lost. Second, it’s behavioral analysis. The sensor-enabled device monitors your pet’s vitals and sends the data to the cloud. Anicall arranges the data by 20 categories and notifies you of your pet’s mood and current health state. The service is currently available in Japan only. The Anicall Corporation also makes pet trackers for cattle;
iCam. The Internet of Things products have surely changed the concept of home surveillance. However, iCam is not supposed to track intruders, instead, you can use the app to make sure your hyperactive puppy (or kitten – Maine coon kittens are huge!) doesn’t bring the house down. The application (available on the App Store and Google Play) connects to a web or smartphone camera via Wi-Fi or 3G;
Pet Minder Pro. Taking care of an animal involves many routine tasks; it’s no wonder you might totally forget about the upcoming vet appointment! With the Pet Minder Pro mobile app, you can track your pet care needs in a smart and entertaining way. The app allows you to register an animal’s personal data (including microchip number, breed and type), track medication usage, manage appointments, create photo albums and store any other data you need. The app is available for both iOS and Android;
Petcube. With this app, you can also stay connected to your fluffy friend while you’re away. What makes it different from the iCam application is the integrated low-intensity laser pointer which allows you to play with your pet in real time via the Internet. The laser is placed on a movable platform, so your buddy won’t have to sit in the same place. The Petcube device is also equipped with a microphone, so you can talk to your pet and hear his squeals of excitement. The gadget is pretty useful for animal lovers who work long hours;
Petnet SmartFeeder. Maintaining a balanced diet is important not only for us humans, but for our animal friends, too! Obesity causes diabetes, cancer, respiratory and heart diseases; you surely don’t want your friend to suffer, do you? And that’s why you should consider buying a smart food dispenser! The Petnet is a great example of how the Internet of Things technology can improve your pet’s life. The gadget stores a two week’s supply of dry cat or dog food and delivers small portions of food at regular time intervals. You can adjust the amount of food & feeding schedule using an iOS app (the device is currently not supported by Android smartphones). With Petnet SmartFeeder you can also track how much calories your pet consumes and order food directly from the app. According to Carlos Herrera, CEO at Petnet, the company will soon move on to serving both dry and wet food and selling the gadget in large pet store chains;
Pet Acoustics. You’ve probably heard there’s more to music than being a pleasant sound. Cows produce more milk while listening to classical music. Horses adjust their pace to the rhythm of music they hear. Plants (even plants!) grow faster once placed in a favorable sound environment! Pet Acoustics was actually one of the first companies to embrace the Internet of Things for pets. Originally an iOS app, Pet Acoustics has now transformed into a Bluetooth-powered speaker preloaded with calming music “designed for the hearing sensitives of an animal…to soothe your pet anytime, anywhere”. You can use the gadget while traveling, moving to another flat, taking part in cat shows (and putting your pet in other stressful situations);
Inupathy. Ever wonder what your dog is thinking about? The Inupathy pet monitor is a new-generation Internet of Things gadget that measures you dog’s heartbeat to analyze his/her current physical and emotional state. The gadget is worn like a harness. It uses color patterns to tell you whether your friend is feeling anxious, happy or calm. According to Joji Yamaguchi, the founder and CEO of Inupathy, the gadget also enables pet owners to detect health issues and monitor their dogs’ overall well-being. The device (which is marketed as the world’s first dogs mental visualizer) is available for $ 199 through Indiegogo;
PetPace. Unless you are a vet yourself, the chances you can tell abdominal infection from an ordinary food poisoning don’t look too good – and that’s when the PetPace smart collar comes in handy. The device monitors such vital signs as temperature, respiration and heartrate, while also tracks calories intake and activity level. You can share the sensor data with the vet to make sure your chum is ok. The gadget is suitable for cats and dogs over 8 pounds and is distributed through petpace.com for $ 149.96 (plus a $ 14.99 monthly subscription fee).
P.S. In case you’re a businessman & plan building an IoT gadget for pets, make sure to address a reliable vendor who’s no stranger to developing embedded systems and high-quality mobile apps. Otherwise your bright idea will never get off the ground or (and that’s even worse!) will be slammed by tech experts.