Fido Gets Connected
As pet lovers and owners who work in the world of wearable technology, we were extremely excited for We Are Wearables Meet-Up this month. Fido Gets Connected was a pet tech-centric event co-hosted by Best Buy Canada and featuring innovators in this section of the industry which is still in its infancy.
With humans grabbing up smart watches, fitbits, and other wearable gadgets that are changing the way we live, it makes sense to have our furry friends join the craze. The potential for how pet wearables can better our pet’s well-being is endless.
“Everyone is going to be able to interact with their pet in a different way,” said Zayn Jaffer of Best Buy Canada. “Whether it [is] tracking their activity, tracking their sleep, training them, taking a pet selfie…all kinds of different things are going to be out there.”
This sector of the industry is still in its infancy and dominated by innovative entrepreneurs.
The obvious use of wearable technology for pets is monitoring their health.
Dr. Adam Little was present to give insight into how wearables could impact veterinary care. “When it comes to the health of our animals…our patients can’t verbalize their symptoms and animals instinctively hide pain… So you have incredibly committed owners who care tremendously about their [pet] often in the dark. And those who are responsible for their healthcare aren’t able to deliver that as effectively or efficiently as they would like.”
Wearable collars would allow owners to gather vital data in a relaxed home environment where they are not stressed thereby providing more accurate measurements. This would help veterinarians with diagnosis. Another useful tool for vets will be the data collected from the owner’s pet wearables.
One of our favourite products at the event was WonderWoof, a waterproof device with a one week charge that measures your pet’s fitness levels and diet. The bow-tie design was inspired by the trend of dogs in bowties on social media in the last couple years and easily clips to your dog’s collar. A free on-line app keeps you on top of your dog’s day. You select your dog’s breed for suggestions on exercise, diet, etc., and gain dog bones as you and your dog pass milestones in your day. You even get alerts when your dog leaves the safety range that you have set. This device and app is also unique in that you can make other dog friends and have them as part of your social community. This lets you meet up with other dogs with more ease. And for those who travel, being able to see what your dog is doing even if you’re on the other side of the world is a wonderful thing.
We were really impressed with the sleek and fashionable design, all packaged up in a Tiffany-inspired box and pouch. Betsey Fore wanted to really focus on designing a product that was geared towards women. This is wise given that 85% of all purchases are either made by or influenced by a woman. A lot of tech companies fail to deliver what women are looking for as far as style goes. WonderWoof delivers better than many of the wearable tech products for humans in this regard.
“When we are thinking about wearables in general, sometimes that fashion element and design component really gets lost. Hardware is hard and building on functionality alone is difficult. It’s really when we combine these two that is the key,” said Fore.
Insider tip: Keep your eyes peeled for a version of WonderWoof created just for cats. We can’t wait for such a purrrfect wearable!
As cat owners, Petcube has gone on the top of our “Need to Have” list. This sleek box will blend in beautifully with most interiors and delivers on our constant need to know exactly what our furry little monsters are doing when we aren’t home. The camera connects to your home’s WiFi, while the device is controlled by your phone (i0S and Android compatible). You can watch your pets all day on your phone, play games of laser tag with them that your control from your phone, and give commands that they hear. So basically to sum it all up for cat owners: see all the things your cat doesn’t want you to know they do, try to tucker them out with laser tag so they don’t destroy the rest of the house, and yell at them to get off the stove.
Cleo Collar also has us intrigued with their waterproof collar tag. The tag is not as visually appealing as the WonderWoof, but we are very interested in the features that it offers. You can track heart rate, respiratory capacity, temperature, overheating detection, movement, early diagnosis of musculoskeletal conditions, and activity level. That’s a heck of a lot of great information that will upload to the cloud for easy access. The data and device are also compatible with the majority of veterinary software solutions, so you can easily share your pet’s information with your vet. Our favourite feature is the GPS tracker. Losing a pet is a heart-wrenching experience, but the GPS tracker will significantly help in recuperating your lost fur baby.
Of course, no pet focused event is complete without a bunch of feathered and furry friends courtesy of Hand on Exotics. Check out our Facebook photos for more from this great night!