Announced on Fujitsu’s news blog this week, Fujitsu Laboratories has developed a pedometer for dogs called the Wandant that’s meant to help fight obesity by providing accurate tracking data to the pet owner. Similar to the technology that’s built into a Nike+ FuelBand or FitBit One, the tracking device records the number of steps taken by your dog during the day as well as the dog’s stress level by measuring how much the dog shivers during the day. In addition, temperature changes around the animal are recorded in order to make sure the dog is being kept in a comfortable space.
All of that information is being recorded and logged every ten minutes by the Wandant. Once the device comes in contact with an Android smartphone, the data is transmitted to a user’s account and displayed in graphical form for further analysis. It can also be connected to a personal computer through USB to upload the data.
The software offers the ability to manually record the amount of food the dog is consuming as well as the condition of recent stools. The user can also upload photos of the dog’s growth and record changes in behavior within the provided diary.
Ideally, all this information allows the pet owner to keep track of a pet’s health and activity. For instance, if a user notices that their dog is particularly lazy during the day, they can make sure to give the dog lots of exercise when returning home for work. This can also help families keep track of a pet’s activity. If the family dog spends the day running around with the kids, their parents won’t have to exercise the dog as much on the weekend or after work. Fujitsu is also planning on building in a tool that will allow users to share activity data with the dog’s main veterinarian.
In order to capture this activity data, the Wandant utilizes a three-axis accelerometer to detect the number of steps taken by the dog’s forelegs as well as the speed that the dog is moving around the house or yard. It also factors in the length of the dog’s legs to track walking data accurately.
The device uses near-field communications to communicate with other mobile devices in order to transmit data to a user’s account. However, the Wandant can store up to fourteen days of activity data and the battery is supposed to last up to four months.
The Wandant is fairly small at less than two inches wide and less than a half inch in thickness. It weighs just 16 grams with the battery installed and is designed to slip into a small case that’s attached to the collar of the dog. In addition, Fujitsu Laboratories recommends that the dog is at least six months old and has legs that are at least six inches in length. Fujitsu is rolling out the device in Japan first and plans to charge around $5 a month for the tracking service. However, the first twelve months of tracking data is included in the purchase price of the device. Fujitsu hasn’t indicated when the Wandant will be sold within North America.