Photo by Nick Wingfield for The New York Times
Do you know how much exercise your dog gets everyday and at what intensity level? Whether he or she sacks out when you're gone or paces nervously around the house? How about heart and respiratory rates? "Are you nuts?", you say. "I don't know any of that stuff about myself, let alone my dog!" Well, given the plethora of new gadgets out there, you might be in the minority. Since computer chips have become the size of a flea, and we're all riveted to our smart phone apps, pet product manufacturers have taken notice. We've also upped our pet expenditures considerably over the last few decades—they've more than tripled over the last 20 years, to be exact. Put all this together and you've got devices galore that claim to help us "interact" with our pets (voice, touch and nice long walks are no longer enough).
According to this recent New York Times blog post, data collected from these various devices "could eventually help medical researchers better understand pet ailments," like helping to prevent obesity, for example. Now we're talkin'! Some of these gadgets, like Dropcam, a wireless security camera that can also be used as a pet monitor, "has a microphone and speaker so people can both speak to and hear their pets via a mobile app," purportedly to break the silence and solitude a pet experiences while waiting all day for you to come home.
We'd love to hear what you think about these new gadgets...will monitoring Fido and Fluffy's activities help your pet's health and help the two of you bond?