Early in the last century, authors like Anna Sewell (Black Beauty) and Jack London (White Fang) wrote stories that encouraged readers to understand and empathize with animals. Today, entrepreneurs are developing devices to help people better understand pets. Here are a few innovations in the pet-tech space that may (or may not) become household necessities or in-demand holiday gifts:
• Remote control pet interaction. You may be sitting in your office, miles from home, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pull out your smartphone and fling a treat to Fido or shine a laser for Boots to chase.
That ’s right, interactive pet cameras let you see, feed, talk to, and play with your pet when you’re far away.
• Pet insight software. A tech writer at Slate wrote, "For the most part, [my cat’s] feelings, daily activities, and health are a black box to me." Apparently, it’s a common issue. Entrepreneurs have invested $10 million to develop "deep learning software that can analyze the huge quantities of pet video…to learn more about animal behavior and how it's linked to animal health issues and moods."
• Fitness trackers for pets. Pet owners who suspect their animals are too sedentar y may want to invest in smart collars for their pets. Some collars track temperature, heart rate, heart rate variability, activity, calories burned, and more. Once a normal baseline has been established, pet owners may be able to spot anomalies that signal health issues.
• Robotic pets with artificial intelligence. Perhaps, you just don’t have the time to feed, walk, and play with a pet. Maybe, you travel too much or dislike the household wear and tear associated with pets. If you want a pet that behaves perfectly and requires less care, you may want to consider a robotic alternative that’s "packed with an array of sensors, cameras, microphones, and internet connectivity, as well as far more advanced AI backed by cloud computing to develop the dog ’s personality," according to The Guardian.
It ’s a high-tech world, after all.
Weekly Commentary for November 6, 2017
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photo by: Set of pets © Gurinaleksandr | Dreamstime