How “smart” pet accessories may change the way we interact with our animals in an increasingly digital world.
image via kickstarter
Ask any dog owner, and they’ll tell you: As rewarding as it is to have a canine companion around, it’s more than a little stressful/exhausting/frustrating as well. Owning a dog means devoting a considerable amount of time and effort toward keeping our pets happy and healthy, something that can be a challenge given our increasingly busy lives. There are walks, feedings, play time, plus the invariable daytime stretches during which the pooch is left alone while their owner is at work.
Enter Buddy, a new type of dog collar currently seeking crowdfunding by pet supply company Squeaker. More than just a place to clip your leash, Buddy is a high-tech way to bring pet care into the 21st century.
Old dog accessory, meet new high-tech tricks:
image via kickstarter
Buddy is, in many ways, an inevitable extension of the growing “internet of things,” a term used to describe an increasing digital connectivity through which everyday items—and now pets—can be accessed, monitored, and even controlled. Buddy joins similar devices, such as Dogtelligent’s “Connected Collar” and the Tagg pet tracker as part of a new wave of responsible pet aids which show us previously hidden layers of data in order to help us better understand our four-legged friends. Buddy can notify owners of their dogs physical activity, location, basic health stats, and even be modified to work in tandem with other internet-connected items around the house, such as lights, temperature control, and electronic locks.
There are likely people who see the transition from “flap of fabric” to “high-tech gizmo” around our dogs’ necks as a step in the wrong (or at least, an fairly pointless) direction. But, as the various facets of our lives—home, work, and play—all become increasingly, digitally interconnected, services like Buddy, Tagg and the Connected Collar all provide ways to integrate our pets into this new paradigm. And for pet owners looking to maximize their ability to better understand, and better care for their pets, “smart” accessories like these may just go a long way toward making a good dog, great.