We’ve come a long way, Lassie. From Ivan Petrovich Pavlov’s classical conditioning research of the early 1900s to artificial intelligence and web cams of the 21st Century — today our dogs can benefit from the advancement of technology in new and marvelous ways.
The pet tech market has grown exponentially over the years. Total pet industry spending more than doubled between 2003 and 2016. Plus, the sale of wearable pet technology is projected to grow more than 16 percent by 2020.
Petcubing it . . .
Yaroslav Azhnyuk, CEO and co-founder of Petcube is a visionary. He’s been actively looking for ways to change how we engage with our pets when we’re away from home. His company offers innovative solutions to connect pet owners with their four-legged pals like never before.
"Technology allows us to give pets a voice and connect with our pets in a new, and maybe even more meaningful, way," Azhnyuk says. "We can understand more about their behaviors, what they want. We can be close to them even when we're not in the same physical space."
Petcube merchandises and sells a Wi-Fi-enabled HD camera that lets pet owners look and listen to their pets anytime via a smartphone app. With this device one can also speak to their pooch as well as react to alerts about any disturbances in the home. The application also dispenses treats and provides toys that can be released so you can play with your dog remotely.
Whistling it . . .
Whistle manufactures a lightweight waterproof tracker that attaches to your pet's collar and uses Wi-Fi, GPS, and cellular technology to track a pet's movements. Its tracker also has an accelerometer that can measure your pet's activity levels, and it can even notify you if your pet leaves an area you've programmed in the app as "home territory."
"The products that are succeeding in this growing market are the products that give pet parents that much-needed peace of mind," says CEO Ben Jacobs.
PlayDating it . . .
"Dogs are social animals and need social interaction with us," noted Kevin Li, CEO of PlayDate. “But at the same time,” he added, “there's a lot of healthy behavior they would experience in the wild that they don't get while they sit at home all day.”
So, to that end, Li’s start-up developed an automated-controlled ball that lets pet owners play with their pup from a remote location. A camera inside the ball allows owners to see their pet engaging with the ball, creating a truly interactive way to play.
“That's the goal of pet technology,” Li explained. "A robotic caretaker that replaces you would be a terrible idea. In contrast, some kind of robotic care or health monitoring option would be fantastic, as it keeps your dog healthy and does things that you as a pet owner can't do yourself."