Everyone knows that cats have always had the lion’s share of the internet, but at the recently held Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, app developers and mobile entrepreneurs have also turned their attention to the pet industry.
Among the large amount of wearables on offer at MWC 2019, many were made for man’s best friend (and its arch nemesis).
Vodafone released Kippy, a wearable device for pets, which allows users to monitor their pet’s wellbeing by tracking their activity with GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Pet owners can monitor the amount of exercise and rest that pets get, while also keeping track of where they are by setting up “safe zones”, and letting owners know, should their pets stray.
The Furbo Wi-Fi-enabled camera is an innovative device that allows pet owners to check in on their pet at any time, and even features a storage compartment for treats, which owners can use to toss treats to their dog using their smartphone. The Furbo also notifies pet owners when their dogs bark for extended periods of time, and compiles a 60-second video to show you exactly what your pet was up to while you were out of the house.
An automatic litter box called the LavvieBot also debuted at MWC. This smart litter box automatically cleans itself and refills, as well as having the option of notifying you as soon as your cat has used the litter box and tracking the amount of times and duration of each use. LavvieBot also tracks the cat’s weight.
According to Global Market Insights, the global pet wearables market stood at $1.85 billion in 2017, but is expected to surpass $8 billion by 2024, making the pet wearable market a very lucrative one.
Speaking to AFP, the executive director of Strategy Analytics, Neil Mawston, said that an estimated 300 million cats and dogs live in domestic homes worldwide.
“Pretty much anything that moves can have a wearable on it. Human wearables are very popular and it is a logical extension that companies move to pet wearables as well. That is a relatively large base to try to sell products to. They are effectively taking the tech that is used for humans and taking it across to pets.”