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The Internet of Pets: The best wearables for forward-looking cats and dogs
Despite a slew of smartwatches and smartbands hitting the market in recent years, so far all the best wearables have been hogged by humans. But what of your forward-thinking pets? Tired of being forced into ordinary, ‘dumb’ collars and those ‘adorable’ garments made purely to prettify their owners’ Instagram feeds, cats and dogs are ready to enjoy a revolution of technology and style.
Clearly, the time is now for an uprising of pets connected to the internet, but, if that’s the case, which wearables will be on the frontline? Here are seven of the best.
The 7 best wearables for pets;
1. Nikon Heartography
Meet Grizzler, the first of soon-to-be thousands of dogs taking control of their own Instagram feed. That’s because of Heartography, a new project from Nikon that wants to track the heart rate of man’s best friend, snapping pictures for them when they see something exciting. Another dog, for instance, or a scooby snack. Or a juicy bone, or a bird, or a stick, or a ribbon – let’s just hope this camera comes equipped with plenty of memory.
Not convinced? We recommend watching the promotional video to get a better grasp, although be warned that it does contain the word ‘phodographer’.
Maybe you’re not ready to buy your dog its own digital camera just yet, and that’s understandable. You’ll be pleased to learn, then, that pet wearables aren’t all silly and frivolous, and the best ones will help keep your animal pal happy and healthy.
Fitbark falls into this category, giving you round-the-clock guidance on your pup’s every need, from when they fancy a walk to when they’re feeling poorly or having a rough night’s sleep. All of this data can be tracked though a dedicated smartphone app, so if you do have to take your pet to the vet, you’ll have all the data to help them get to the bottom of the issue.
We don’t own a cat at GoExplore HQ, but we’ve seen enough ‘Lost’ and ‘Missing’ cat signs hanging hopefully from streetlights to know that it’s a sadly common occurrence. Some conspiracy theorists will tell you that they’re disappearing to receive signals from an alien mothership – but those people are almost certainly mad, so it’s worth getting yourself a tracking device for next time Oscar goes astray.
Look no further than Loc8tor, a tracking collar for your cat or dog that sends its signal directly to your smartphone. So, next time your pet goes walkies, you can track their movements on a Google Maps-style interface and collect them if they fly too far from the nest. We’re mixing up our animal metaphors here, but you get the point.
WonderWoof describes itself as an “exercise tracking social network for your dog,” clipping onto the collar of your furry friend like a little bow-tie. It’s not just doggie formal wear, though, the accessory promises to track and train your dog, while searching for other local dogs to arrange puppy playdates with. At this rate, it won’t be long until your pup won’t even need you at all, popping out for Tinder dates while you shove another ready meal in the microwave. They grow up so fast, don’t they? *sob*
5. No More Woof
Sure, you might be fond of your dog’s familiar bark, but your neighbors probably aren’t so keen. Not to mention the poor mutt itself, trapped inside a four-legged bundle of fur with no way of communicating their true feelings. No More Woof, then, is an attempt at designing a dog-to-human translator, strapping around your pet like one of those clunky gaming headsets and attempting to convert thought patterns into speech. The technology isn’t quite there…yet, but the design from The Nordic Society of Invention and Discovery won plenty of attention, and, who knows, you might be able to have a basic conversation with your pet sooner than you think.
It’s hard enough watching your own weight, never mind your pets’ – but in Tractive, there’s an app that will do it for you. As well as the tracking functionality offered by Loc8tor in case they go missing, Tractive will watch over your pet 24/7, assessing their diet and exercise to stop them from piling on the pounds.
7. GoPro Fetch
Finally, much like Nikon’s Heartography project we saw earlier, GoPro sell their own pet harness for making home videos of your pets’ day out. The fully adjustable mount is made to fit just about any size dog, from small puppies up to larger breeds weighing as much as 120lbs. So, whatever sized pooch you have, you can get a daily digest of all their digging, running and fetching activities from a glorious dog’s-eye-view.