The ambit of internet of things and its utility is spreading to objects as well as pets, besides the obvious – humanbeings. A recent report predicts that by 2021 pets monitored by tracking devices would surge upto 2.8 million.The number of pets monitored using GPS locator devices in Europe and North America was about 300,000 at the end of 2015 according to a new research report from the M2M/IoT analyst firm Berg Insight.
Growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 45 percent, this number is expected to reach 2.8 million by 2021. Solutions for pet tracking and monitoring available on the market today range from VHF-based systems mainly intended for hunting dogs, to GPS-based locators aimed at creating peace of mind for owners of domestic dogs and other larger pets.
The size and weight of GPS locators equipped with cellular communication modules available today are most suitable for monitoring dogs and cats weighing more than 4 kilograms. Pet locator devices typically have features that allow owners to view real-time location and set geo-fences to receive alerts when the pet wanders outside of these. Many devices are also fitted with accelerometer sensors that can give insights into the pet’s behaviour by tracking daily activity and health trends.
Pet tracking devices are marketed by a growing number of specialist pet locator vendors, as well as several vendors active in other consumer-oriented locator segments. The potential market for pet tracking devices is very large. There are now an estimated 150 million dogs and 160 million cats in Europe and North America. About 32 percent of the households in Europe and 65 percent of the households in North America own at least one pet.
“Most people consider their pets to be part of the family and are willing to spend significant amounts of money on pet products and accessories”, said André Malm, Senior Analyst at Berg Insight. He adds that there are still several barriers to growth for pet locator devices, including product performance related factors such as battery life, size and weight, as well as market related factors like cost and consumer awareness. “The main remaining barrier is low awareness among potential customers,” he added.
Pet tracking devices is a relatively new consumer product category, marketed by about a dozen small companies with limited marketing budgets. Nevertheless, market awareness is building through word of mouth marketing as well as articles and reviews in pet related media.