In celebration of the Chinese New Year and the Year of the Dog, let’s consider the growing importance of domesticated animals in our lives. In many part of the world, we treat our pets like extended members of our family and provide them with a high level of care.
And the pet industry is booming. A plethora of services are increasingly available – luxury pet day cares and grooming services, dog walkers, quality food and, now, connected devices and wearables.
Wearable technology developed for people is now being adapted for pets with the aim of improving pet health and safety. Collars and leg bands are the most common wearables for animals. In addition to tracking location and monitoring fitness, they can also track a pet’s vital signs, steps, sleep, mood swings, behaviour and diet. Dogs can be trained to stop annoying habits like incessant barking by using tones and vibrations for conditioning. Sensors help detect if a pet is in danger of drowning or warn owners if a pet left inside a car is getting too hot.
With the growth of the wearables industry – for people and animals – over the past five years, IEC Technical Committee (TC) 124 was established in 2017 to develop International Standards for wearable electronic devices. Several other IEC TCs are already involved in the standardization of components found in wearable technology. IEC TC 21 handles the batteries which power wearables, IEC TC 47 manages the testing, design, use and reuse of sensors, IEC TC 100 covers audio, video and multimedia equipment, while IEC TC 110 is responsible for electronic display devices. Another key aspect of wearables is the transfer of the data gathered from, for example, the smart pet collar, to the pet owner’s phone. IEC and ISO have established a Joint Technical Committee for information technology (ISO/IEC JTC 1 ) which produces standards for telecommunications and information exchange between systems in its subcommittees ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 6
According to Transparency Market Research , the global market for pet wearables is expected to reach USD 2,5 billion by 2024. Maybe the Year of the Dog will bring further luck to this market.