We’re only just starting to see early adopters of wearable technology wandering the streets with their Pebble smart watch or Jawbone Up on the wrist and Google Glass on the head. We know that wearable technology is amazing and in the future we’ll see it being used for animals, plants and even vehicles. Who’s to say that one day you couldn’t put a piece of wearable tech on your pet fish to find whether the pH level of the water is right.
We’re now seeing wearable technology filter down to animals, as humans and their companions alike can benefit from wearable devices. Scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology have created a wearable canine computer that could allow dogs to send messages to handlers. This project, Facilitating Interactions for Dogs with Occupations (FIDO), is the brainchild of Thad Starner, the original technical lead of Google Glass.
FIDO works like this: the dog activates a sensor on its vest or collar to transmit a verbal command that the handler hears through an earpiece and view on a head-mounted display similar to Google Glass. Not only could this help disabled people navigate more effectively, FIDO could enable bomb-sniffing dogs to communicate with their handlers remotely and rescue dogs could alert a human team when they’ve found an injured person. The possibilities are endless! There will be a trial of FIDO of which results will presented at the International Semantic Web Conference in October.
Wearable technology products for animals have been around for a while. Luda offers monitoring products for horses and cows, including horseAlarm, which can monitor wellbeing by analysing sweating and how often the horse is lying down. Another one is an electronic dog collar monitoring your dog’s wellbeing by Bio-sense Technologies.
We think that Google Glass is just the beginning for humans, as FIDO is only a starting point for wearable tech for animals, so watch this space!