Pet wearables is quickly becoming a major category in the pet technology space. According to market research, spending in this segment is expected to reach $900 million by the year 2019. Similar to human wearables, the Internet of Things [IoT] for pets is a burgeoning market creating apps that can provide pet owners with all kinds of data that’s never been tracked before.
DogStar Life is a start-up that’s developing tech that will actually tell dog owners how their pets are feeling. Yannis Tsampalis, the company’s CEO knows a thing or two about wearables. Before he opened his own company, he helped Verizon launch its wearable product line for humans. Using that hands-on experience, this year he will be debuting a product that will actually interpret our dogs' unique form of communication.
"Dogs do speak, and they speak with their own language. Their body is their language," says Yannis Tsampalis. He asserts that language is spoken through the dog's tail, and said his DogStar software “TailTalk” will help dog owners decode what they’re saying.
TailTalk, described as the “world’s first dog emotion tracker,” draws on canine behavioral research. ”It has technology inside and the same components as a smart watch or fitness tracker," Tsampalis explained, "It monitors your dog’s tail wagging movements. We will be able to tell you if your dog is excited, if he's happy, scared, or just resting."
The wearable tracker reveals the peaks and valleys of your dog’s range of emotions throughout the day, which is then synced up with a companion app available for iOS and and Android.
Tails as Social Interface
“Tail wagging doesn’t automatically imply that a dog is happy,” said Dr. Pamela Perry, Ph.D., DVM, Veterinary Behavior Resident at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. “The tail is a dog’s social interface, signaling behavioral nuances that other dogs recognize, but which humans do not always understand. Fortunately, there are ways to monitor and record dogs’ body language, and ongoing research offers a more detailed understanding of how our pets express themselves. The goal of the DogStar Life’s tracker is to measure tail position and movements as indicators of dogs' behavior and mood, thereby allowing owners to ensure their dogs' behavioral health and wellbeing.”
Worn on a dog’s tail, the lightweight, chew-resistant, water-resistant tracker collects actionable feedback. Owners can then survey aggregate data to annotate patterns and determine which environments, people, and toys most excite their dog and avoid the ones that may cause stress. The tracker will be especially useful for new pet parents or children, who can clearly see how a dog responds to different actions and experiences, as they’re introduced to the dog.
Still in beta testing, TailTalk will get to market later this year in time for Christmas at $99.