7 Tech Gifts For Pet Lovers - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
IT Life
News
12/18/2015
07:05 AM
Thomas Claburn
Thomas Claburn
Slideshows
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
RELATED EVENTS
Building Security for the IoT
Nov 09, 2017
In this webcast, experts discuss the most effective approaches to securing Internet-enabled system ...Read More>>

7 Tech Gifts For Pet Lovers

Because fur and circuits belong together.
Previous
1 of 7
Next

(Image: Petcube)

(Image: Petcube)

It's clear that that we love our dogs, cats, birds, and fish. In the US, the American Pet Products Association expects that $60.59 billion will be spent on pets in 2015 -- although we remain more generous to our species. According to the National Philanthropic Trust, Americans donated $358.38 billion to human charitable causes in 2014.

But that doesn't mean we neglect our furry friends. In fact we don't: Pet owners are spending more. The market for pet products has grown by 25% from five years ago. One reason may be that pets can't say no when you give them a wearable device. They make the perfect guinea pigs for testing wearable products, even if they're a different species entirely.

Some of these products enable pet owners to spend money for occasions when they can't spend time with their pets. Petcube, a WiFi-enabled camera for watching pets left home alone, comes with a laser that can be controlled remotely to entertain animals from afar. Maybe that's a good thing, or just the next best thing for those who can't be there in person.

Petcube began shipping a year ago and has since gained an Apple Watch app, to watch pets on a watch.

When you can't be there to walk your dog, there's Swifto and Wag, to name just a few of the tech-enabled dog-walking services. The companies organize dog walkers the way Uber or Lyft organize drivers. Both Swifto and Wag promise that they screen their dog walkers. Hopefully, they do it well. Technology isn't the same thing as trust.

But pet technology doesn't have to be an apology for not being there. It can be fun, entertaining, informative, and protective.

Arguably the most useful pet technology is a GPS tracker. Few things are more upsetting to pet owners than a lost animal. There are a variety of decent options for locating pets: the Pod 2 GPS WiFi + Pet Tracker, Whistle, and the Tractive GPS Pet Tracker, to name a few. But really, it would be nice to find a device that's small enough for a cat (the size of a dime would be ideal), has enough power for several days, and can communicate directly with a smartphone without a cellular data subscription.

[Think you can buy the gadget you want? Here are nine different tech gifts that will break the bank.]

Yes, that's asking a lot. Findster could be getting close, if it ships as promised in February 2016. And Loc8tor looks like a good short-range option. The Trackr might be worth looking into, but the number of negative Indiegogo comments is troubling.

It may be that we just have to wait a few more years before the state of the art advances enough to allow the creation of a tracking device that isn't too bulky and doesn't require a monthly fee. In the meantime, we have some fascinating pet-oriented technology products to consider.

**Elite 100 2016: DEADLINE EXTENDED TO JAN. 18, 2016** There's still time to be a part of the prestigious InformationWeek Elite 100! Submit your company's application by Jan. 18, 2016. You'll find instructions and a submission form here: InformationWeek's Elite 100 2016.

Thomas Claburn has been writing about business and technology since 1996, for publications such as New Architect, PC Computing, InformationWeek, Salon, Wired, and Ziff Davis Smart Business. Before that, he worked in film and television, having earned a not particularly useful ... View Full Bio

Previous
1 of 7
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
shakeeb
50%
50%
shakeeb,
User Rank: Ninja
12/31/2015 | 9:22:34 PM
Re: pet products
@Shamika. Yes there are devices with GPS which will help you to track your pets location.
shakeeb
50%
50%
shakeeb,
User Rank: Ninja
12/31/2015 | 9:20:49 PM
Re: pet products
@Li I agree with you. They are now treated as family. Some times more than a family.
shakeeb
50%
50%
shakeeb,
User Rank: Ninja
12/31/2015 | 9:18:43 PM
Re: Feeding Frenzy
@Shamika I agree with you. I think the pets will not feel bad when you are not at home.
PedroGonzales
50%
50%
PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
12/23/2015 | 2:36:14 PM
Re: Feeding Frenzy
I think the pet cam is the best device. Since most people work they leave their pets by themselves, allowing owners to watch their pet and make sure they aren't destroying any improper things(example, cats scratching your new sofa).  The pet cam could be use for any application, teenagers having the home by themselves or even the elderly.
jastroff
50%
50%
jastroff,
User Rank: Ninja
12/21/2015 | 12:56:33 PM
Re: pet products
We just feed them more. that seems to work for the holidays!
Ariella
50%
50%
Ariella,
User Rank: Author
12/21/2015 | 8:43:33 AM
Re: pet products
@shamika yes, there are a number of options for GPS pet tracker services.
shamika
50%
50%
shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
12/21/2015 | 1:13:41 AM
Re: pet products
@Li I agree with you. They are treated like another family member. Sometimes they get more attention care.
shamika
50%
50%
shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
12/21/2015 | 1:11:44 AM
Feeding Frenzy
This is cool. You don't need to worry even though you are not at home.
shamika
50%
50%
shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
12/21/2015 | 12:50:26 AM
Re: pet products
Have they managed to invent a device to locate your pet once they go missing? If that's the case I will be the first to buy that device.
Li Tan
50%
50%
Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
12/20/2015 | 10:00:43 PM
Re: pet products
Pet business is promising because in many families, pet is also a formal family member. This is not a surprise then - the business is booming.
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll