Demand for smart products for pets is fast growing, thanks to the convenience they bring and owners’ desire to keep their pets healthy, according to a report by Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com, which notes that sales in the market totaled US$400 million in the U.S. last year.
Many smart products work in tandem with smartphones that allow pet owners to interact with their pets. Packaged Facts expects such “smart products” to play a far greater and more multifaceted role in 2018 and beyond.
A key benefit is convenience, as most smart products are designed to make pet care easier. A survey conducted by Packaged Facts found that “product will save time/make my life easier” is a top purchase motivator for automated products, including self-cleaning litter boxes, automated feeders and collars with Bluetooth monitoring capabilities. The range of pet care product categories getting smarter is expected to expand, says Packaged Facts.
Along with convenience, another important feature of smart products is enhanced pet health. Products that monitor a pet’s activities, vital signs, body functions, location and so on may become a norm, enabling owners to detect health problems—and spurring them to take action—in time.
Also, pet products are likely to increasingly interface with pet service providers to create new paradigms of pet monitoring. Owners may also connect with veterinarians directly. The survey shows 46% of pet-tech owners use an app or software-based platform that delivers pet health data directly to their veterinarians.
Samsung last month introduced SmartThings Tracker, which is a small, lightweight GPS device that can be attached to pet collars. When a geo-fenced zone is set up in the app, SmartThings users will get an alert when a tracker enters or exits a zone, such as a pet leaving the backyard, says the company.
Integration between Products and Services
Furbo recently introduced the Dog Nanny service that goes in tandem with its dog camera product. It alerts dog owners to potential dangers in real-time, such as house fires, burglaries and the consumption of toxic chocolate. Alert notifications allow dog parents to know what is happening at home.
Each alert is coupled with automatic cloud-recording. If users are not able to check-in, in real-time, they can go back to see what triggered strange behavior with short, event-specific video clips.
Furbo uses AI technology and computer vision to detect dog-specific events happening at home. From intelligently learning notification preferences to understanding dog behaviors, Furbo Dog Nanny will continue to get smarter and give users more personalized information about their dogs, says the company.
Another brand name in the industry is Wagz. Its new line of integrated smart pet solutions are controlled through a single smartphone app. At the heart of the Wagz system is a smart dog collar, which connects with a suite of products including a smart dog feeder, smart dog door, smart treat dispenser and smart water dish.
Wagz recently launched the Serve Smart Feeder – a system that delivers the right food at the right time based on activity levels, and automatically re-orders food with integrated Amazon Dash Replenishment.