Devices for dogs: Vodafone Ireland launches pet tracker

15 Feb 2019

Irish international rugby player Jordi Murphy with his dog Kobe. Image: Teneo

This week in IoT, Vodafone Ireland launches a tracking device specifically for our furry friends.

Earlier this week in the internet of things (IoT), a study from University College Dublin revealed that businesses and consumers alike are uneasy about drones, with research showing that 85pc of business leaders are lukewarm about commercial drone use. The study did show that people would be more comfortable with the devices if they knew the purpose and operator of the drone.

Meanwhile, Amazon made a major IoT acquisition, snapping up mesh Wi-Fi router firm Eero. The tech giant is set to leverage Eero’s technology to boost its connected devices business, which is a thriving element of its overall strategy.

V-Pet tracker gives owners peace of mind

Irish international rugby player Jordi Murphy and his dog Kobe have this week launched a new location and activity tracker for cats and dogs. The V-Pet by Vodafone tracks the position of an animal using a geolocation system, which uses GPS and Vodafone’s mobile network.

The pet tracker allows owners to analyse how their pets spend their time, from sleeping to running and walking. The device measures 52mm by 22mm and is made of durable plastic. Depending on activity levels, the rechargeable battery will last two to three days on average.

Vodafone Ireland’s consumer director, Lutfullah Kitapci, said: “It is estimated that over 60pc of Irish households own either a dog or a cat and almost all owners see their pets as members of their family. V-Pet by Vodafone can give these owners much-needed peace of mind by enabling them to monitor the location of their pets while they’re away from home, as well as their activity throughout the day.”

Amazon and Google want more data from smart devices

Smart speakers and other connected devices are becoming commonplace in the average home. While they offer convenience and efficiency, a Bloomberg report notes that tech giants such as Amazon and Google are able to create a vivid picture of our lives simply by tracking a smart light bulb.

Some smart device makers such as Logitech say they have been asked to send a continuous stream of information to Amazon and Google, including television settings and smart lock status.

IBM Watson announces new IoT worker safety partnerships

One area where IoT connectivity is seeing real potential is worker safety in the manufacturing industry. IBM Watson recently announced new measures with several industry partners that leverage IBM’s existing Maximo enterprise asset management platform and IoT technology.

The firm is working with Garmin Health, SmartCone and Guardhat, among others, to help protect the safety of people working in hazardous environments. The Maximo platform will receive near real-time sensor data from the workspace and workers to monitor dangers such as gas levels, temperatures, heat and other potential work zone dangers. Historical analytics collected could also be used to prevent future accidents.

UK Ordnance Survey launches mapping drone

UK mapping organisation Ordnance Survey is planning to launch a solar-powered drone to improve the quality and range of its images. According to the BBC, the aircraft, dubbed Astigan, will fly higher than commercial airliners and could circle the planet for 90 days before it needs to land. It is essentially a high-altitude pseudo-satellite and will be controlled from the ground.

Other companies will be allowed to attach their own sensors and cameras, to track metrics such as sea levels and deforestation. Ordnance Survey hopes to launch tests of the craft before the end of this year.

Want stories like this and more direct to your inbox? Sign up for Tech Trends, Silicon Republic’s weekly digest of need-to-know tech news.

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects