It's not just humans, demand for animal wearables set to soar too


There’s more wearable technology news every day, from gaming headsets to health trackers to (fingers crossed) the iWatch. But you might not have realised how huge the animal wearables market is.

As it turns out, it’s worth $0.91 billion worldwide, and a new report by IDTechEx, Wearable Technology for Animals 2015-2025, predicts that it will grow to $2.5 billion by 2025.

Products currently on the market include tracking devices for dogs like Tractive Motion and Whistle, both of which clip to a collar and monitor canine activity levels, syncing with an app. Whistle recently announced that its next-gen device, released in 2015, will come with GPS capability. Tagg already has this facility, but requires a monthly subscription fee. Plus, of course there are cameras like the Eyenimal, which takes photos from your cat’s or dog’s perspective.

But it’s not all about pets. Identification and tracking is also used for wildlife conservation, with birds, protected fish and even bees being tagged. In the US and Europe, Radio-frequency identification (RFID) tagging of cattle is compulsory. According to the report, this will become increasingly sophisticated in future: “In 2025, livestock tagging will still be most popular but it will much more often involve diagnostics.”

The report concludes that one of the most popular uses of animal wearables in future will be medical diagnosis and treatment. Future uses for livestock and horses are likely to include implants, patches, and saddles with built-in medical applications, such as ultrasound treatment for pain relief.

Becca Caddy