gadgets

Crufts: These are the high-tech gadgets for dogs on show

By Oliver Smith 11 March 2016
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Summary

It's not just people hungry for new technology, animal's are getting in on the action too.

With the world’s largest dog show, Crufts, underway in Birmingham this week it’s not just the dogs that are on show.

This year a host of high-tech doggie gadgets are on display, from the first auto-inflating life jacket for muts to a Fitbit for man’s best friend.

It’s not the first time we’ve seen technology and pets meet, last year at the IFA tech conference we saw the first pedometer for pups, but today wave of pet-focused tech is growing.

Here are the gadgets on show at Crufts this week:

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Modelling man’s best friend

3D-printing is changing everything from fashion and the way we make modern jewellery to the very statuettes at the Oscars.

Photos are dead, now 3D-printing is coming to change the way we remember our pets.

Code3D started out by creating 3D-printed jewellery before realising it could use the tech to make perfectly accurate 3D replicas of people, like a tiny version of yourself.

Today they’re bringing this to your pets, with a 3D scanning and printing system on display at Crufts to make a 10cm replica of your best friend in plastic, ceramic or even gold.

Code3D’s founder and director Dr Ahsan Khan told The Memo how the technology works:

“We are able to perform 3D scans in an instant by utilising our photogrammetry system that takes 150 images simultaneously that we then use to develop a model ready for 3D print in full-colour.”

And it’s not just dogs that can get involved either, in the next few days Code3D is launching the ability for anyone to send them a set of images of their pet, be that a dog, cat or hamster, and have a 3D replica printed.

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Fitbit for pups

Dogs have an obesity problem, or so Andrew Nowell says.

Over half of the UK’s 9m dogs are overweight, and it’s this fact that led Nowell to create PitPat, a fully-fledged fitness tracker for muts.

“The aim is not only to encourage exercise and a healthy lifestyle for your dog, but also to provide a fun way to spend time with your dog or find out more about what they get up to when you’re not together,” Nowell told The Memo.

PitPat launched in October last year with a small £39.99 tracker that can be popped on your pet’s collar and an app to see exercise goals and daily movement.

Sadly, for now anyway, PitPat is dogs-only.

“Our research has shown that cat owners encourage their pets to roam during the day and therefore are not so concerned with encouraging exercise,” says Nowell.

“We also believe there is a predominance of overweight dogs as opposed to cats.”

We might have to wait a bit longer for a Fitbit for felines.

Inflatables for animals

It’s not just dogs on land hungry for new tech.

AnimAlarm, makers of a heat sensor for dogs in cars, have branched out to create the world’s first auto-inflating life jacket.

Described as a “life-saving piece of equipment” to give pooches everywhere a fighting chance should they be thrown overboard at sea.

No word on how you get the damn thing on your beloved Barney or Toto though…

Now back to the show: