Do you live with your pet at home? You may know that a companion animal like a ‘dog’ is loyal to its guardian and follows people very well. However, why does a ‘dog’ do that? Have you ever thought about that? Let us introduce you to the genetic hypothesis hidden in the reason.................................... Ed
Many people think of pets as family members beyond simply raising pets, and about 3.12 million households, or 15% of all households, own pets. Due to this trend, the use of pet-tech devices has become common. Pet-tech is a new word that combines companion animals and technology, and refers to the combination of various technologies, such as the Internet, artificial intelligence, and big data with products and services necessary to take care of companion animals safely and conveniently. Initially, the focus was on IoT-based products that help them observe, feed, and play with their pets in real time when their owners are not at home. In recent years, due to technological advances, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and big data-based products, such as communication devices that analyze the voice and physical changes of companion animals to deliver their emotional states, and toys that learn behavior patterns and move according to them, are emerging one after another. With the rapid expansion of companion animal markets, a wide variety of pet-tech products are being introduced. We would like to introduce the following representative pet-tech devices.
A home camera is a pet-tech device that is mainly used in homes where owners spend a lot of time away from home due to school or work life. It is possible to observe the dog when going out for a long time because many dogs howl or show separation anxiety when the family is away. You can scan the entire house by using the home camera, and continuously check your dog by using the smart tracking function. Most home cameras can be installed anywhere on the ceiling or ton he wall, communicate in two directions, and have good hacking security. By using Night Vision technology, the video is shown as clear as day even at night, and people can continuously check their dogs. Among the various pet-tech devices, care service devices for pets alone, such as home cameras, have become so popular.
A pet toy is a toy for companion animals, and its main feature can be used in conjunction with the application. LG has also launched such a pet toy service. If you attach and operate a nose-walk-exclusive ball on the pet toy, the ball will come out of the machine and stimulate the interest of pets. There are various types of toys that can be attached to the pet toy, such as the basic type in which a companion animal finds a snack by separating the double-structured ball, the rolling type in which a snack comes out when the ball is rolled, and a liquid snack can be buried on the surface. This is using the nose-walk, a training and play method that induces dogs to search for toys or foods by smell. Pet Toy also has a companion animal training function, so if you set the function, life noises like a doorbell sound can be heard when a ball comes out. This function induces dogs with more sensitive hearing than humans to get used to living noise.
A pet-tech start-up company, Neoul-jungbo, developed an emotion recognition device called PetPulse, which analyzes a dog‘s voice through a wearable smart device in the form of a necklace, and informs its emotional state. PetPulse collects dog voices by classifying them by type and size of dogs. It is believed that its accuracy will be further improved as the data are accumulated by making it part of big data, making owners aware of the need through marketing that there are such pet-tech products and services. Therefore, owners do not rely on pet-tech products, and should use them when they really need them. At the same time, owners should continue to be aware of the negative impact on pets when using such pet-tech products.
Disadvantages of Pet-tech Devices
Pet-tech products provide plenty of convenience for their owners. But will pet-tech be advantages for pets? The original purpose of raising pets is to share emotional communication with pets and to take care of them. These pet-tech technologies are, however, made for pets when they are alone. This can make us look for pets only when we want to see them or play with them. This evokes human selfishness, and eliminates its original purpose. Furthermore, it is difficult to trust and rely on pet-tech products alone because they may not work normally. Some owners may believe in the role of these AI devices, and gradually reduce the time they spend with their pets. This undesirable effects give us a lesson that pet owners should be aware of the negative impact on pets when using pet-tech products for a long time. Having a pet chase after a laser beam toy for hours is also not helpful to their health. In economic terms, pet-tech products are so expensive that owners tend to be reluctant to buy them. According to a survey by the American Consumer Technology Association, the biggest reason why consumers who do not currently use pet-tech products did not buy them (56%) is because of the prohibitive price. Such technology is more sensitive to pricing for owners who raise various types of pets. Moreover, there are many owners who do not feel the need for pet-tech products because they are not well-known yet. Despite these shortcomings, using these pet-tech products well will come as a clear advantage in raising pets. First, sellers should increase price efficiency with convenience and durability while also having reasonable price competitiveness. It is necessary to raise awareness by informing owners of the need through marketing that there are pet-tech products and services so that owners can express interest in them. Therefore, owners do not rely on pet-tech products, and should use them when they really need them. At the same time, owners should continue to be aware of the negative impact on pets when using pet-tech products.
Prospects of the Pet-tech Market
The pet-tech market will grow further in the future. According to a market analysis company, the global pet-tech market in 2020 has exceeded $5.5 billion, and it is expected to grow at an annual average of 20% from 2021 to 2027. Interest in pets is increasing, and interest in health and well-being is also growing. Until now, the pet-tech markets have been centered on startups, but now the participation of major companies is increasing. In the future, advanced technologies such as big data and AI will be used to read the behaviors and thoughts of pets, and to provide new services for them. As the pet-tech markets grow further in the future, it is most important for us not to lose our original purpose for raising pets.
Park Seo-jin (ST Reporter)
Lee You-bin (ST Reporter)