Posted by Ashley Osgood
With the fitness wearables market growing like crazy and not showing signs of slowing down, these new devices are giving us the kind of capabilities that used to be a thing of our imaginations not too long ago. The wearable tech industry continues to be innovative with the introduction of the pet wearable industry: it’s Fido’s turn to benefit from the latest technology - and if you thought fitness trackers for humans were impressive, you’ll be amazed by the way these companies have learned to track the location and daily activities of your pet to bring them happier, healthier lives, as well as connect you to them like never before.
Early pet wearables were devices scientists used to get more insight into animals habits and behavior, such as tracking migration patterns of endangered birds. But wearables for pets specifically did not show up as consumer products until more recently. A few wild ideas have popped up since then - from the Puppy Tweets device that uses your dog's motions to send messages about what they’re doing and feeling to their own Twitter account, to the futuristic No More Woof headset being developed to translate what your pup is thinking into “human” English.
Check out the following 5 companies that are leading the pack for the most forward-looking pet wearables:
Fun aside, the wearable companies of today are now making devices that will become vital to the health and wellness monitoring of your pet. The founders of companies like FitBark and Voyce realized there was a lack of pet data that owners and veterinarians could leverage when working to ensure their well-being. It is undeniable how much we care for our furry friends, a fact validated by the prediction that the wearable tech market for pets will grow to $2.6 billion by 2025.
One of the earliest pet wearables, Snaptracs’ Tagg the GPS pet tracker, is designed to make sure your curious pet never gets too far from home. Clipping onto a collar, Tagg alerts you via text and email if your dog leaves the usual zones it tends to play and wander in, their “Tagg Zones”. At the same time, the Tagg Activity Tracker keeps you updated on how much exercise they are getting so you can adjust their schedule and keep them healthy.
The Whistle Activity Monitor attaches to your dog’s collar to track his activity, rest and overall wellness by constantly monitoring his movements. With bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and their new WhistleGPS feature that leverages Sigfox’s Internet of Things network, you can locate your pet at a moments notice.
The data is sent to the corresponding app on your phone and presented in an easy to understand format relating it to goals you set and your pups baseline. With this information, the app can detect any health or behavior abnormalities and let you know what he’s up to while you’re away. You can also use the Whistle App to log food and medication intake and to share information with your vet. The ability to gather, convey and use information to keep your pet safe and healthy is a vital part of Whistle’s forward thinking device.
Eyenimal’s small, lightweight Petcam straps to your dog or cats collar to record their adventures form their own perspective: which lets you see life how your pet lives it. The easily recharged camera captures sound and picture everywhere your pet goes and stores up to 4GB of footage. With insight like this you can make sure you are protecting your pet and giving them the attention they need.
Fitbark was founded by a group that wanted to combine their love for dogs and their love for tech into one exciting product. They launched their product on Kickstarter at the end of July last year and, met with a huge amount of support, reached their goal in just over a day. Fitbark also attaches to your dogs collar and constantly tracks his activity to bring you data-backed insights about her health, activity and behavior. The device uses bluetooth to communicate with your smartphone or the Fitbark Wi-Fi base station so you can receive timely updates about your pup.
Fitbark also has features enabling it to compare your dogs behavior trends to her past levels, other dogs of the same bread and even the activity of you and your family tracked by whichever fitness wearables you use.
They want you to use their device to “keep everyone in the loop” by using the app to make journal entries on their day, message family members, share photos to social media and connect the whole family on a dynamic to do list to ensure they’re fed, walked, played with and brought to the groomer when you need it.
Created by i4C Innovations, Voyce is one upcoming product of a unique suite of services made for the companion animal market. Using radio frequency technology, Voyce uses Internet Wi-Fi to sync your dogs monitor to your phone. Voyce combines the idea of a fitness wearable with unique algorithms to monitor your pet’s health by measuring vital signs from heart rate to calories burned.
Voyce finds trends and insights specific to your dog and sends you personalized recommendations to increase wellness based on reliable articles and expert advice. With their model “Discover, Learn and Share”, Voyce works to keep you aware, help you understand and protect your pup better, and keep your vet, trainer and puppy-sitters in the loop.
So far pet wearables are generally catered to domestic pet lovers but there are clear paths to a broader market that offers devices for every animal from cats to horses. Pet wearables like these let us connect to our pets in ways we never have before, and the most successful products will be those that can connect us in the most seamless, intuitive ways. Like any wearable, those for pets need to be durable, unobtrusive and reliable so it can easily become a part of your pet’s life and make yours easier.
Want more pet wearables? Read our latest "5 (More!) Forward-Looking Pet Wearables".