goldie fishwater eating raspberry pi 2.JPG

"Project Goldie" - my internet connected Goldie Fishwater life support system. Love that fish! (via Cabe!)

People view their pets as their children. Just look at me and my fish, Goldie!


In a recent U.S. survey, more than 80 percent of pet owners said they consider their pets to be members of the family. As this trend continues to grow, more gizmos and gadgets are becoming available to feed our needs to treat our pets like our kiddos. Introducing the latest craze: activity and location trackers for our pets.



Tractive Motion tracker and app interface (via Tractive)


First on the chopping block is Tractive Motion, an activity tracker that logs your pet’s exercise, body temperature and exposure to sunlight. The device clips right onto your pet’s collar and collects information all day. When you get home, Tractive Motion will automatically sync to your phone and download the collected data, allowing you to stay on top of your pet’s fitness goals.


Well, that is, if you have fitness goals for your pets… there have been stranger things. In any case, if you are someone who puts a sweatband on your pet when you go for a run, you’ll love this app. If your pet is off track with their summer swimsuit goals, you’ll know. Unfortunately, unless your pet is a short hair, the sunlight and thermometer may give you inaccurate information, as it can get lost in their fur. And that’s not the only downside.


Tractive Motion also only connects to the Bluetooth of your phone, so you won’t be able to get updates about your pet unless you are physically with them, which is fine if you’re using it for fitness goals, but not if you’re looking to gauge their activity level when you’re not home. Don’t fret. If you want more than a basic accelerometer, check out Whistle’s new GPS tracker instead.



WhistleGPS hardware (via Whistle)


The WhistleGPS provides the comforts that Tractive Motion left to be desired. For starters, it runs off Bluetooth AND WiFi, so it can periodically send you updates about your pet through your wireless home network. The device, which also clips to your pet’s collar, can track your animal’s whereabouts at all times. You won’t need to worry about little Fido getting lost. If he goes on an adventure with the Aristocrats, you’ll be able to track him down using the GPS right off your phone.


Tractive Motion retails at €79.99 and the app runs on both iOS and Android. Whistle is expected to retail at $130 eventually, but it will take early orders at $50 a pop. The Whistle app also runs on iOS and Android.


Do you need a pet tracker? Probably about as much as your dog needs open-paw sandals. But if you’re looking for peace of mind that your pet hasn’t escaped from the confines of your home and started a biker gang, $50 is a fair price to pay for a tracker.



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