Pet Age

Wearable Tech for Pets Predicted in the Billions

August 1, 2014

But, what about wearable technology items for animals?

Like most trends in the pet industry, it is following the human lead, and is expected to reach a worth of $2.6 billion by 2025, according to a report authored by Dr. Peter Harrop, chairman at IDTechEx

The new IDTechEx report “Wearable Technology for Animals 2015-2025” covers the needs, technologies and markets of wearable electronics for livestock, pets and wild animals. The report analyzes six market sectors that represent the main purposes of wearable and internal technology for animals.

These purposes include facilitation, safety and security, behavior monitoring and behavior control, medical diagnosis and medical treatment and the most common use, identification and tracking.

“This report concerns the needs, technology and markets for wearable electronics for animals, from pets to livestock and wild animals,” said Harrop. “We include the backup equipment and systems and devices that are ingested to rest in a stomach of an animal. We also include devices implanted under the skin.”

Wearable technology is not exactly new to the pet industry. Location-based technology such as Tagg the Pet Tracker has been on the market for years. But, what is changing is the number of similar products available and the advances being made in the actual technology.

For example, a new wearable product named Voyce by i4C Innovations premiered earlier this year at CES. Voyce is a collar that measures key vital signs and other wellness indicators through wearable technology and proprietary algorithms.

“I have an English mastiff,” said Jeff Noce, president of i4C.”In the summertime, he doesn’t move. The Voyce will tell me that but will also tell me that the weather is very hot so that I can attribute his lack of movement to the weather.”

Noce believes that wearable technology will be beneficial to both the animal and the owner.

“Wearable pet technology is a perfect storm with what’s happening with human technology such as Google Glass,” he said. “We have a way to create healthier animals.”

Voyce will be sold through both retailers and veterinarians.

PetSafe, a long-time leader in the pet technology field, offers a variety of products incorporating new technology.

“We see a value in connecting people with pets,” said Jason Hart, director of marketing. “People want their phones and tablets to be their one tool.”

One of the newer offerings from PetSafe is their Passport Pet Access Smart System, which uses a pet door that only allows pets with programmed collars to enter or exit the home. Using radio-frequency identification technology, the Passport reads the Passport Key worn on a pet’s collar. This allows only pets with programmed IDs to enter and exit the home, while keeping other pets and wild animals out.

Programming is easy and can be done using the LCD screen and five-button navigation or by connecting to your computer with the included USB cable. A wireless connection allows for convenient future remote programming from any smart device, even when an owner is not at home.

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