You've heard of the networked home, networked learning, networked culture - and now, the next thing to be enhanced by the world wide web? The networked dog.
Electronics company Acer is planning a new line of tech products designed to help dog owners keep their canine friends healthy, happy and safe.
The Pawbo range features two wearable products, the Wag Tag and iPuppyGo, as well as a networked food dispenser and a "pet camera" to help dog owners keep an eye on their pets while they are away.
The Wag Tag is a small computer worn on the collar, which tracks the dog's location using GPS, WiFi and UMTS. Users can set a warning alarm to go off on their smartphone if the dog leaves a certain zone or wanders too far.
A built-in microphone on the collar allows the owner to hear what's going on in the dog's environment, and an impact sensor detects accidents, such as if the dog is hit by a car. The device weighs around 35g, is water and dust-proof and has a battery that should last five days.
Meanwhile, the iPuppyGo is designed to monitor the health of the dog by tracking sleep, movement and mood. The data is then sent via Bluetooth to a smartphone. The 3.5cm diameter device is also worn on the dog's collar and can last several months on a single battery charge.
The smartphone app also offers suggestions for appropriate movement and play exercises. The aim to is encourage both the dog and owner to stay active and healthy.
The Pawbo range also includes an automatic food dispenser called the Munch that allows owners to feed their dog remotely using a smartphone. To keep the dog entertained, the Munch feeder also has a slot machine mode which allows different snacks to be dispensed depending on the symbols chosen on the LED screen.
Finally, a pet camera allows users to communicate with their pets while away or even play music to them.
Acer has not yet announced the prices of these products or when they will hit the market. — dpa
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