Posted on Monday, December 31st, 2012

Pedometer or Petometer? New Japanese Gadget Helps Gauge Pets’ Health


In a move that combines dog whispering, Facebook, exercise and almost-eerie levels of human-to-pet surveillance, the Japanese electronics manufacturing company Fujitsu is ready to launch its newest gadget – the Wandant dog pedometer. The name “Wandant” comes from the portmanteau of “wan wan” – the Japanese word for a dog’s distinctive bark – and, says The Wall Street Journal, “pendant,” referring to the device itself, which is worn around the dog’s neck. Attached to a dog’s collar, the pendant – or Wandant – connects to the dog owner’s computer or phone and reports back data about the dog’s health and well-being in real time.

While it won’t read your animal’s mind, the Wandant proposes to change the way pets and people communicate. The Wandant is set up to measure the number of steps your dog takes – just like a typical pedometer – while also gauging the dog’s temperature and stress levels. These numbers are sent from the half-ounce gizmo to cloud storage, where your dog’s health is analyzed, tabulated and charted based on daily, weekly or monthly statistics. The data can also be fixed to take into account information like weight, food and even stool conditions, reports Cnet.com. This way, dog owners can better understand their pets’ long-term needs – and even anxieties.

“The data are presented graphically on a custom website that makes trends in the dog’s activities easy to understand at a glance,” Fujitsu specified, according to RedOrbit.com. Indeed, your dog’s personal profile will be readily accessible from your smartphone as well. All this, Fujitsu stated, is to give owners “a stronger sense of their dog’s health, while enabling communication with the dog.

“Communication may be a bit of a stretch, but as The Wall Street Journal points out, it’s nothing that a Japanese tech company hasn’t attempted before. Almost a decade ago, the Japanese toy company Takara attempted to promote a product called the “Bowlingual,” which they’d developed to bridge the gap between humans and dogs when it came to chatting. Understandably, it never really took off. Fujitsu clearly has more realistic expectations for its Wandant, which may not prove to be a dog-to-owner translator, but should at least make tracking your pet’s health a breeze.

This content post is provided by the pet experts at Hartz.