Image source : Rick and Morty
Smart gadgets not only help people by counting calories and compensating for lost limbs, but they are also gradually changing the animal world of the planet.After humans, our pets are in line for a brighter future.You may have heard of devices that allow us to track the movement and location of animals, but beyond that, electronics are expanding the physical capabilities of "flies, " and "barks" (hamsters for that matter) and the ways we interact with them.
Love for animals sometimes manifests itself in very peculiar ways and is reflected in how and what technologies we transfer to them. According to Emily Antes, author of Frankenstein’s Cat: Cuddling Up To Biotech’s Brave New Beasts , this is part of the natural progression of wearable electronics technology. Many people treat pets as if they were their children, or at least family members – this explains the desire to know where the pet is and what it is doing.
Antes also believes that specialized gadgets will help owners monitor the physical and psychological health of animals, because our small friends are not able to describe their feelings, let them know where it hurts and what bothers them. And with the help of external or internal (implantable) devices we could promptly receive data on the condition of animals.
Biologist Kon Slobodchikov also agrees with this approach. According to him, cats and dogs are not only capable of understanding the meaning of what is said to them, but also recognize our emotional state at that moment. In doing so, they try to adapt to a person’s mood.
Logs of animal existence
Smart watches and trackers register and record some parameters of our daily life: number of steps, walked kilometers, heart rate dynamics, etc. Thanks to this data, we get important information about our lifestyle and state of health. The same is true for pets: today’s pet fitness trackers record heart rate and respiration, record physical activity levels and location. Gadgets that allow for remote communication with the pet and even play have been made available.
As a simple tracker, you can use the gadget from the company Whistle which attaches to the collar and registers the animal’s movement using a three-axis accelerometer. Logs are available for viewing on your smartphone.
A more advanced solution is offered by the company Fitbark The device records activity levels, sleep periods, notes dynamics, and also allows you to share the data over the network. The app allows you to compare your dog’s parameters with those of other dogs of the same breed.
Smart collar Voice Dog measures vital signs, including heart rate and respiration, records periods of activity and rest, and counts calories burned.
Device I’mTracer tracks the animal’s location. PetTracker Tells you what your pet is doing right now: running, sleeping, wandering, or sniffing. Gadget BeLuvv informs you if your dog or cat has moved too far away. The size of some devices is large for small animals, but say, Loc8tor Or G-Paws can also be attached to a cat collar.
Otto Pet Care Systems has developed a wireless device for dogs that transmits data to a cloud-based service that compares a particular animal’s data to the norm for its breed.
This device can be paired with an automatic feeder to include calorie intake data in the analysis as well. Tapping an icon on your smartphone will give your dog a portion of food. The feeder even has a camera with a microphone – for those who like to watch their dog eat.
All this is necessary, as you understand, in order to notice in time any problems with the health and emotional state of the pet. If it is important to you how long your pet lives and how, it is advisable to periodically monitor his vitals and behavior, especially when the pet is undergoing treatment, or recovering from surgery or illness. Counting how many breaths your pet takes in a minute, knowing if his pulse is even and if there are no heart problems is difficult without gadgets.
The purely "sporty" function of wearable electronics for pets should not be discounted either. If your goal is to train your dog, you can track his progress with a device like K9FITvest
Fitness trackers also serve to study the effects of nutrition on the condition of animals. For example, in 2012 in the U.S. there were data were collected. that 52% of dogs and 58% of cats are overweight or obese. And according to 14-year study. commissioned by Purina, maintaining an ideal weight can extend a dog’s lifespan by an average of 15%. For Labradors, for example, that’s almost two years. The data was collected using sophisticated and expensive motion sensors, because when the program began, wearable electronics did not yet exist. Modern gadgets are cheaper, more reliable and allow collecting much more information.
Pet fitness trackers allow indirect monitoring of health… of the owners. Small changes in a pet’s behavior signal some kind of problem in the people he lives with. This is especially evident in dogs of lonely elders. Not only do dogs react to their owners’ ill-health, they can even react to their owners’ moods, such as when they are depressed.
Cameras and games
Cameras are used both for monitoring and to add variety to an animal’s daily life. Dropcam is used to communicate with a pet because the device is equipped with a microphone and speaker, although technically it is not a wearable gadget, but a camera for home surveillance.
If you live in a private home, you can attach a camera to the cat/dog door to know when your pet goes out and comes back in. Detailed instructions are at Github
Lightweight waterproof action cams for cats and dogs produces company Eyenimal. Three shooting modes are supported: continuous, motion detection and homing mode.
The Petcube device takes advantage of animals’ weakness for dots from laser beams. The gadget is equipped with a camera and a low-power servo-driven laser. While you’re away, you can play with your cat or dog by controlling the laser with your smartphone. You can even share the laser with your friends via Facebook.
Biological Upgrade Technologies
Scientists have found that by the level of intelligence and consciousness of dogs you can compare with human children And there is a possibility that in the future wearable electronics will be used to gently upgrade animals biologically, enhancing their already considerable, as it turns out, mental abilities. But it must be understood that the animals themselves do not need this, so there is a risk that such technology will be used with malicious intent. At the very least, for the sake of even deeper exploitation, rather than to make their lives easier.
A team of researchers at Georgia Tech has created an experimental device FIDO (Facilitating Interactions for Dogs with Occupations). The gadget is designed to simplify and improve work with guide dogs, rescue and police dogs.
FIDO allows animals to remotely transmit messages to humans. For this purpose, the device is equipped with a special module that the dog can tug, bite, and poke with its nose. The development is still far from being complete, but the creators are full of hope to realize a full-fledged wireless communicator transmitting data to a smartphone or smart glasses.
If the developers are successful, FIDO will increase the effectiveness of guide dogs, service dogs and medical (psychological) assistance dogs. In everyday life, such devices will "teach" the dog to talk: it will inform when it is hungry or wants to go outside.
A similar system are being developed by at the University of North Carolina. In this case, the developers are interested in search and rescue tasks. The device is a kind of harness (or harness) equipped with sensors and capable of interpreting the dog’s various behaviors and postures and transmitting human commands via a speaker and vibration motors. In addition, the system also records the dog’s vital signs: heartbeat, body temperature, and more.
Auburn University (Auburn) creates device to control the dog via a mobile app. And let’s not forget the crowdfunding project No More Woof (No More Woof), through which "animal thoughts are translated into human speech."
True, it’s hard to say yet whether or not this will be another flop. According to the developers, the device reads electrical impulses in the dog’s brain and tries to interpret its feelings and thoughts. But given the certain limitations of electroencephalography, the success of the project has to be doubted.